Computer glasses for the COVID life

I have worn glasses or contact lenses since I was eight or nine years old. Way more years with corrective lenses than I have been without corrective lenses. I have worn contact lenses since i was in my early teens. I enjoy being glasses free so wearing glasses over my contact lenses seemed counter intuitive. But I have changed my thought process after reading multiple studies and attending multiple lectures.

Now, I am diligent about wearing my blue light filtering computer glasses. I sent my college age daughter to school with a pair. I am doing as I prescribe. 

Blue light can be especially detrimental to sleep and health. When we are exposed to too much, it can also affect sleep pattersn.

Blue light can also disrupt the macular area of the retina. The macula is where the sharpest part of our vision resides. If it becomes damaged, we can go from 20/20 to 20/200. There are some predictions that we could have a large gorup of millenials with early onset of sight threatening macular degeneration from extended exposure to blue light. It is not unusual for a Marina Del Rey Optometry patient to report they are on an electronic device 12 hours a day. Twelve hours is definitely extended exposure.

Interestingly, patients who have had cataract surgery are also at risk. I knew the lens implants had UV protection but recently found out that the implants do not effectively filter blue light wavelength as effectively as a natural lens. So my post cataract surgery patients are all also getting blue light filtration even if they are not on an electronic device. 

With that being said, there are now some studies coming out saying blue light is not as bad as we thought. But until proven otherwise, why would I risk the health of my eyes or my patients? I want my patients to use glasses that are designed for computer use to reduce visual fatigue and give them immediate relief from eye strain. But I also want to protect their eyes in the long term. A blue light filter is easy peasy to put on a pair of computer glasses. There is no research showing the blue light filter hurts us. Might help but won't hurt. So why wouldn't I prescribe they same thing I am using and the same thing I provide for my family? I absolutely would.

Author
Kristine Kobayashi, OD Kristine Kobayashi, OD Kris Kobayashi, O.D. completed her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She then earned her Doctor of Optometry degree from the Southern California College of Optometry. Dr. Kobayashi has specialized training in low vision and hospital-based optometry. She obtained her license to utilize pharmaceutical agents in the state of California in 1997. She discovered her passion for eye care when she got her first pair of glasses in 4th grade. When she is not in the office or at a continuing education meeting, she is spending time with her husband, Randy and 2 kids. She enjoys volunteering for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and at the Orange County Ronald McDonald house.

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