Many Australians spend more than 1/3 of their day in front of a screen. Many office workers have an average daily exposure of 11.4 hours. This is out necessity rather than desire. Unfortunately, in our high performance work environments, it’s not something we can easily give up and as a result, we experience eye strain, fatigue and headaches from the constant exposure to UV rays and blue light from our screens. We need to take steps to mitigate the effects.
Blue Light and UV ray blocking computer glasses can help alleviate some eye strain through blocking 100% of UV rays and 50% of Blue Light. You may experience a reduction in headache frequency, eye strain and eye fatigue. Anti blue light glasses are great to use with your computer, tv, tablet or phone. The subtly tinted lenses set within a stylist frame make them suitable for use in public without attracted awkward glances.
The traditional advice is to take frequent breaks. This is great for many reasons. As well as giving your eyes a rest from the screen and exercising some distance vision, it’s beneficial to move your body and get the heart pumping. But, the majority of us don’t do this often enough.
There has been a steady increase in the evidence from optometry and ophthalmology researchers that blue light was implicated in macular degeneration. The dose of blue light, as with UV radiation, is cumulative over our life-time. By attending to our eyes, we are potentially protecting ourselves from long-term exposure risk.
Even with conclusive evidence the optometry profession is slow to act. The danger of UV for the eye has been known for 34 years and yet only one in four spectacle wearers has 100% UV protection.
Artificial blue light impacts the retina and damages pigmented epithelial cells which degrades eyesight. Eventually, this can lead to macular degeneration - commonly seen in the elderly.
Light pollution is a modern day insult to our physiology that has manifested faster than we have been able to adapt. Blue light keeps us awake and alert. It was only a few generations ago that humans were exposed to nothing more offensive than candle or lantern light after sunset. Today, urban centres bombard us with artificial lighting, mostly LEDs and fluorescents in signage, street lighting and building.
In addition to eyeglasses, dietary supplementation with lutein, zeaxanthin, and mesozeaxanthin on the blue-absorbing macular pigment (MP) may improve MP optical density (MPOD). MC supplementation (24 mg daily) yielded significant improvement in MPOD, headache frequency, eye strain, eye fatigue, and all visual performance measures, versus placebo. (4) Bilberry, lingonberry and NAC contain high amounts of polyphenols (anthocyanins, resveratrol, and proanthocyanidins) that exert protective effects against blue LED light-induced retinal photoreceptor cell damage mainly through inhibition of ROS production and activation of pro-apoptotic proteins. (5)
Any blue light exposure will interrupt melatonin production. The additional artificial light exposure from screen time (phones, laptops and tablets) suppresses melatonin production. This suppression impacts upon the circadian rhythm, impacting sleep quality and potentially contributing to a vast array of lifestyle diseases.
Critical Flicker Frequency (CFF) is the threshold at which light from an intermittent source is seen half the time as flickering and half the time as fused or continuous. It is a measure of eye fatigue. The higher the blocking effect of the lens, the lower the reduction in the CFF, suggesting that blocking short-wavelength light can reduce eye strain and fatigue.
Outdoor light exposure is a critical component. In order to sleep well at night, you need a differential between your maximal light exposure and your minimal light exposure. LUX is a measure of light intensity:
A completely dark room = 0 lux
Outside on a sunny day = 30000 lux
On a cloudy day = less than 15000 lux
A modern, well lit office = less than 1000lux
You can see how spending all day in an office is not contributing to good quality sleep! Make sure you get plenty of sunshine during the day, if you can, enjoy a sunset viewing and then eliminate exposure to blue light until you fall asleep.
And by the way, sitting next to a window is not going to work. Get a little time outside, even if it’s cold.
Inflammation increases and studies suggest contributions to high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and a weakened immune system. Waste products build up in the brain. Sleep is needed to clear away the build up. When we sleep, our glymphatic system kicks into high gear and uses cerebro-spinal fluid to flush out waste.
Related Article: Artificial Blue Light and Sleep