H.E.V. Blue Light
There has been a lot of talk in the media about blue light exposure and how it may be affecting us. Since our exposure to high-intensity blue light has only been increasing in recent years, it’s hard to say for sure what the long-term effects will be. Still, we can use the facts to understand risk, and there are small steps we can take to reduce our exposure.
Scientists know that blue light affects our sleep. Sunlight contains blue light, which signals to our brains that it is time to be awake. This is good during the day when we need to be alert, but sleep researchers have found that blue light interferes with sleep patterns because blue light suppresses melatonin production. Melatonin is the critical component in our chemistry that makes us wind down and feel sleepy; however, too much blue light in the evening can have consequences. The effects of blue light on sleep have been studied, and the results showed how nighttime exposure to blue light made it more difficult to fall asleep and reduced rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
Fun fact: reduced REM sleep leaves people feeling less rested in the morning, even if they get the same quantity of sleep as someone who reads a book at night instead of doing an activity with blue light exposure.
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How To Protect Your Eyes
Beyond sleep disturbances, many experts are concerned that blue light exposure may be harmful to our vision. The most considerable risk is that blue light may increase the risk for age-related macular degeneration. It’s not clear how much blue light from screens can cause harm to the eyes. CFL lightbulbs emit much more blue light than the screen on a smartphone, for example, and sunlight is still the most significant contributor of blue light.
What does this mean for you? Just as doctors have been saying for many years, it’s critical to protect your eyes from the sun. Wearing a hat with a brim and always using UV-blocking sunglasses is crucial. Many people are also finding that they’re more comfortable with alternatives to LED bulbs in their homes. Many products exist to give you calming ambient light.
In addition, there are several ways to live in the digital world and protect your eyes. Make sure that you are viewing screens from an appropriate distance. Your computer screen should be at fingertip length when your arm is outstretched, directly in front of you. It’s also essential to take a break from looking at a screen by focusing on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Do this at least once every 20 minutes to give your eyes a chance to rest and change focus.
Some patients also enjoy glasses that help block blue light for extended computer use and hobbies like gaming. Some anti-reflective treatments and lenses also have blue light-filtering abilities. Talk to us about your blue light exposure!
Digitally Surfaced Lenses
For the first time, high-definition lenses, also known as digital lenses, are now available.
These technologically advanced lenses offer many benefits over traditionally surfaced lenses:
- The quality of a high-definition lens is similar to the quality of a digital camera. The higher the pixel count, the higher the degree of resolution, resulting in crisp vision with unmatched depth and clarity.
- High definition lenses also enable patients to enjoy up to 20 percent wider vision channels for intermediate and near distances; this makes computer use and reading more comfortable and enjoyable.
- They are also available in sport and hobby-specific designs.
High definition lenses are ideal for all patients who want to experience the latest lens technology. Those with high prescriptions and large amounts of astigmatism will experience the greatest Wow factor.
Have you ever experienced blinding reflections in your lenses from oncoming traffic while driving at night? Would you be interested in getting some eyeglasses from our store that are specifically designed to take care of that problem?
Non-glare lenses, also referred to as anti-reflective lenses, are specially calculated to eliminate the glare on your lenses and increase the amount of light entering your eye. This is an important safety benefit for driving at night as non-glare lenses reduce annoying reflections and halos around lights.
Non-glare lenses also improve the cosmetic appearance of your glasses by reducing the reflections that mask your eyes when someone is looking at you, making your eyes look more natural. Better yet, most premium non-glare lenses are easier to clean and include a two-sided scratch-resistant coating.
If you’re interested in these glasses and more, stop by and visit the McDonald Optical eyeglasses store in Iowa City and browse our wide selection of eyeglasses and more!
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Progressive lenses, sometimes called “no-line bifocals,” give you a more youthful appearance by eliminating the visible lines found in bifocal and trifocal lenses. They provide the ability to see at all distances, including arm’s length for computer use and up close for reading.
Currently, progressive lenses are the most natural form of vision correction available for patients with presbyopia, as they eliminate the “image jump” present in standard bifocal and trifocal lenses. Progressive lenses provide a smooth transition from the distance through intermediate to near vision with all the in-between corrections included.
This constant graduation of the prescription means that you can look up to see in the distance, look ahead to view things such as the computer in the intermediate zone and drop your gaze downward to read and do fine work comfortably up close. With so many progressive lens designs and options available today, the choices can be overwhelming without professional advice.
Ask one of our Iowa City opticians about progressive lenses at your next visit.
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Do you get headaches or eyestrain from staring at your computer monitor? Is it difficult to focus on distant objects at the end of a long day in front of your computer screen? You may be suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). With most of the population working on computers for multiple hours a day, McDonald Optical wants to share some educational information on Computer Lenses:
- According to the American Optometric Association, 70-75 percent of computer workers experience eye and vision problems.
- This condition, known as computer vision syndrome, includes blurry vision, sore and tired eyes, and neck and shoulder pain.
- Nearsighted people often complain of headaches, eye strain, squinting, or fatigue when driving, playing sports, or looking more than a few feet away.
Special computer task lenses can be used to supplement your primary pair of eyewear to solve computer-specific vision requirements.
For example, computer task lenses can help relieve computer vision syndrome symptoms by enhancing vision at near and intermediate distances, with the added comfort of a more natural head position.
Ask our Iowa City eye doctors for more information if you’re experiencing symptoms of computer vision syndrome, and if you feel your condition is severe enough, schedule an eye exam, and we’ll be more than happy to take a look.
High Index lenses
Do you desire thinner and lighter lenses? Most of today’s eyewear choices are made of plastic or metal with rims more delicate than the lens. Sometimes eyewear has no frame at all and features rimless mountings. In either case, the lens edges are highly visible, and thicker edges can detract from the appearance of your eyewear. The good news is that a variety of new plastic materials are available to provide thinner and lighter lenses.
This means less lens material can be used to correct the same amount of prescription. In addition to looking thinner, your lenses will also reduce the magnified “Coke-bottle” look often caused by thicker lenses. Ask our opticians about lens material and which is most suitable for your prescription!
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