A closer look at light
For healthier eyesight,
don't take light lightly
UV, blue-violet, turquoise-blue … light comes in many forms, and is essential to life. But too much of a good thing is not always ideal.
but their eyes are not.
Let’s delve into the impact light has on our eyes, and how you can make the best of it by staying well-protected.
Myths & Truths
Not all blue light is bad(1).
It’s actually true!
We have to be exposed to some blue light to stay healthy. It helps to boost our memory and lift our overall mood. Exposure to blue-turquoise light during the day contributes to a healthy circadian rhythm, the body’s natural internal system that regulates the sleep-wake cycle.
Children are more sensitive to UV rays than their parents(2).
On average, a child’s annual UV exposure is three times higher than that of an adult. The reason being their crystalline lenses are still relatively transparent, hence light is filtered less effectively, leaving their retinas exposed. Keep your little ones healthy by making sure their eyes are properly protected.
My skin is more fragile than my eyes.
Our eyes are more fragile, especially children’s. In fact, the eyes are the only internal tissue of the human body directly exposed to UV light.
UV rays are only dangerous during the summer months and in direct sunlight(3).
It’s actually false!
Up to 40% of annual UV exposure occurs when we are not in full sunlight, and often when our eyes are unprotected.
Wearing glasses protects our eyes from blue light.
Well, this is both true and false as it depends on the glasses you’re wearing.
Lenses with a specific filtering treatment can reduce the transmission of blue-violet light while allowing beneficial turquoise-blue light to filter through.
The only way to protect yourself from blue-violet light is to avoid using digital screens
Digital screens are instrumental to our daily lives, and it would be difficult for most of us to do without them. Just be sure to keep them at a reasonable distance from your eyes (at least 40 cm), set your screen brightness to low and take breaks between screen sessions (ideally every 20 minutes). For optimal protection and comfort, opt for glasses with specific lenses with blue-violet light blocker or yellow tint.
Blue light, more than
meets the eye
From the glow of our devices to the great outdoors, it is hard to escape blue light.
And with over 90%(4) of people aged between 20-65 using
more than four digital devices daily, it's safe to say our blue light exposure is on the rise.
Let’s look how it affects us and how you can make the best of it by staying well-protected.
Blue-violet light is everywhere.(5)
We tend to think of screens as the only culprit, but the sun is actually the leading source of blue-violet light. However, additional blue-violet light is emitted by digital devices, screens, LEDs, and fluorescent lighting.
What does that mean for our eyes?
Blue-violet light may accelerate aging of the retina and increase retinal oxidative stress, which might contribute to retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration. The good news is that appropriate eyewear, such as blue-violet light filter lenses, may help prevent this.
Did I get too much blue-violet light?
With screen time averaging five hours per day, it’s easy for our eyes to get tired.
Here’s a quick check to help you know when it's time for your eyes to take a break.
Eyestrain · Dry eyes
Itchy eyes · Headaches
Blurred near vision
Have you experienced any of these common symptoms ? Your screens may be the culprit. Our eyes aren't designed for modern digital lifestyles over the long term. When we view our devices for too long, digital asthenopia, (or difficulty sustaining close visual effort), can kick in and cause these symptoms.
Follow the 20/20/20 rule
For every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen, look at something 20 ft. (6m) away for 20 seconds.
6 meters During 20 secondes
Set your screen brightness to low
Clean your screens
Increase font size
UV, A Double-Edged Sword
Some UV exposure is essential for good health, to help our bodies produce a good amount of Vitamin D, which boosts our metabolism and mood. But that doesn't mean UV exposure is all good.
Beyond the sun
When we’re out and about, we’re being exposed to UV light, regardless of the weather, season, and amount of direct sunshine.
In fact, Only 50% of UV rays come directly from the sun.
The remaining 50% are refracted through the atmosphere and reflected off surrounding surfaces like water, snow, grass and sidewalks.
What does that mean for our eyes?
While some UV exposure can be helpful for certain bodily functions, it doesn’t do our eyes any favors. Cumulative exposure to UV rays from the sun may accelerate the aging of the cornea and the crystalline lens and is a risk factor in cataracts.
Wear sunglasses all year round
Favor large-framed and wraparound sunglasses
Avoid exposure during peak UV-hours
(appx. 10am - 4pm)
Stay in the shade
(but don’t be left in the dark: this only blocks 50-80% of UV rays)
Make sure your wear quality sunglasses with UV protection
To Each Situation Its Glasses
The best way to protect your eyes? Simply choose the right glasses for the job. Here's how and when to use them for optimal comfort of use.
Here’s how and when to use them for optimal comfort.
Clear lenses with a blue-violet light filter or yellow tint
Digital devices emit blue-violet light that causes eye strain; this is where lenses with dedicated filters come in handy to help reduce exposure. Computer glasses with yellow-tinted lenses may also increase comfort when using digital devices for an extented period of time.(6)
Indoors & Outdoors
Photochromic lenses work in all situations. Their secret? They darken in the sunlight and automatically become clear again when indoors. Thay block UV rays and help filter blue-violet light both indoors and outdoors.
Sunglasses or polarized lenses
Look isn’t everything! Opt for sunglasses with quality lenses, as this is the only way to effectively block the sun's UV rays. Contrary to popular belief, sunglasses should be worn all year-round. And yes, that means even when you're in the shade, during winter and whenever you're enjoying the outdoors. Don't hesitate to request for prescription sunglasses! For higher protection against glare and dazzling light, choose a polarizing filter as they also enhance clarity and contrast.
(6) ”Digital eye strain prevalence measurement and amelioration”. BMJ Open Ophthalmology 2018. “Management of digital eye strain”, Clinical and Experimental Optometry 102.1 January 2019.
“Short-Wavelength light-blocking eyeglasses attenuate symptoms of eye fatigue”, Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 2017
Protect your eyes from light exposure and check your vision