Anthony Lee & Associates Eyecare -  Blue Light

By Anthony Lee | Mar 27, 2014

I had a discussion with a patient today about incandescent lighting being banned in the U.S. starting this past January.  I did some research and discovered that sure enough the production of 40W and 60W incandescent bulbs was banned on January 1st, so I am sure this will include more in the future.

Interestingly, blue light (on the light spectrum that is) has been given a lot of attention lately.  It pertains to light in the energy level close to ultra violet which we all know is bad.  It turns out that some blue light is equally as bad or worse than ultraviolet.  Other forms of blue light are good for things like are circadian rhythm and proper focusing responses from our eyes, but unfortunately our new forms of lighting such as LED and CFL emit 20-30 % of the bad blue.  The newer displays in our computers and smartphones emit this as well.

It appears the blue light is most damaging to our macula's (think macula degeneration) so while all of us are at risk, there are others that may be at higher risk because of genetics, general health etc.  As the baby boomers continue to age, macular degeneration cases are expected to double or triple in the next 20 or so years, and may actually explode because of the newer lighting sources we are getting used to.

Several lens companies are offering coatings that block the harmful blue light, while allowing the good blue to enter our eyes.  The smart science going into these coatings is extremely wavelength specific and we will have to wait and see how helpful it really is.  However, if we look at the data provided by what we have learned from ultraviolet and limiting exposure to it, the blue light science is seeming to make sense.


Anthony Lee & Associates Eyecare


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