Protecting our children's vision.
Blue light poses risks for people of all ages, but due to the increasing use of digital media and devices in education and entertainment, children are particularly susceptible to the potential to develop ailments linked to overexposure.
Fortunately for parents, blue light filter products are available today to help children see better, focus better and sleep better.
Sources of blue light include natural sunlight and artificial lighting from incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, LED and full-spectrum bulbs — making total avoidance of exposure to the risks of blue light impossible.
Steps to minimize natural sunlight exposure include blue light filter sunglasses and reducing the hours spent when blue light is at its most powerful.
But the other ubiquitous sources of blue light — the screens of computers, digital tablets and smartphones — are just as risky as the natural spectrum. Use of computers and smartphones is on the rise. Cutting back on our children’s study time and the hours they spend communicating with friends and in digital games and activities is increasingly difficult these days.
A blue light filter on digital devices offers increased protection from the harmful effects of overexposure. Studies, including one under the headline “Blue light has a dark side” in the Harvard Health Letter published by Harvard Medical School, cite the harmful effects of exposure to blue light, including that which is emitted from digital screens and other electronics.
The proliferation of blue light in our lives due to the increasing time spent in front of computers and other digital device screens is a growing problem for children. Doctors believe children are particularly susceptible to problems because their eyes are still growing.
Medical-grade protection is best.
Medical professionals recommend that parents who are looking for a blue light filter select a medical-grade product.
“Products that are thoroughly field tested and developed based on reliable scientific data are a good investment for parents looking to reduce blue light exposure,” said Dr. Terry Lee Forrest, a Goldsboro, N.C.-based ophthalmologist. “Using a blue light filter reduces the damaging portion of the blue light spectrum entering children’s vulnerable eyes, thus helping those suffering from eye strain, headaches, hyperactivity and sleeping problems.”
Blue light is a high-energy light. After passing through an eye’s cornea and lens, all spectrums of light reach the retina. That is where blue light can begin the process of triggering damage to the eye itself as well as disrupt body chemistry that controls the production of melatonin, which is essential for healthy sleep patterns.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology reports as many as one-quarter of all school-age children have eye problems that can be remedied if detected early enough. Many of those conditions are related to blue light exposure.
A blue light filter is easy to install over the screens of computers, digital tablets and smartphones.
They are made with a blue light filtering material that also helps sharpen and clarify the images produced on the digital device and reduce screen glare. Parents are advised to select a blue light filter that is a static cling design, which will not mark or harm the computer, tablet or phone screen.
“Parents are wise to be aware of the potential for eye damage and other harmful effects of blue light overexposure and take a step such as installing a blue light filter to minimize the risks to their children,” Dr. Forrest said. “These are easy and affordable actions that can go a long way toward preventing problems both in the near and long-term.”