By Dr Ryan Robison
The visible light spectrum is actually a small segment of a much larger spectrum known as the electromagnetic spectrum, which is described in wavelengths. This spectrum ranges from low-energy wavelengths of radio waves to high-energy waves of gamma rays. Visible light is safely in the middle of this spectrum. Ultraviolet (UV) are those wavelengths between visible light and x-ray.
Years of exposure to UV lights will cause eye damage (ie cataracts and macular degeneration). Proper protection against this harmful UV light includes quality sunglasses and hats. But there is a portion of the visible spectrum that can also be a problem. It’s blue light, and it comes in high doses from our digital devices. The average screen time for adults in the US is 7 hours per day and can cause headaches, digital eyestrain, sleeplessness, and could potentially contribute to macular degeneration.
Many lens manufacturers are now adding blue light filter technology to their lens products. At SouthWest Vision, we use Essilor’s Essential Blue Series, which reduces harmful blue light by 20%. If we add Essilor’s anti-glare coating called Prevencia, we reduce the harmful rays by a total of 30%.
Most eye vitamins include Lutein and Zeaxanthin. They help filter damaging blue light from the visible spectrum by as much as 90 percent, they also protect against damage from free radicals. There is an eye vitamin available called MacuHealth that also includes Meso-Zeaxanthin. This is the most potent antioxidant for the macula because it protects the very central part where vision is the sharpest. Having all three of these antioxidants helps achieve optimal macular protection.
We encourage anyone who spends much time on their devices to consider protecting their eyesight with the proper lens filters and to use eye vitamins to better protect their macula. If you would like to learn more about any of these options, call and make your appointment today or stop by our office and speak with one of our amazing staff. 435-673-5577 or www.southwestvision.com