Why your glasses don't need blue light lens technology

The old saying "seeing is believing" might bare some truth more often than not, but in the instance of the latest craze in optical treatment centred around blue light lens technology, it simply isn't true.

Specifically marketed to Generation Y – of whom are exposed to some sort of device screen each and every day – optical retailers and manufacturers have positioned this additional service as a way to reduce the amount of harmful blue light reaching the eye.

Experts, such as market leaders Specsavers, have another opinion on the matter, however.

The eye of the beholder

"From doing our research to speaking with industry experts, there is simply not enough, if any, evidence to support the use of blue light lenses in opticals," says Jimmy Park, Optometrist Director at Specsavers, Canberra.

"You will find that extreme sustained exposure to blue light might cause damage, but in reality, the amount omitted from our digital devices is much lower than what we think."

To put things into perspective, an overcast day can cause more harm to our eyes the prolonged exposure to blue light…

Blue light claims

Essentially, it refers to the wavelengths of light in the blue/violet region of the visible spectrum that's now found in many devices we use daily - laptops, phones, digital watches.

"Light is a form of electromagnetic radiation, and as such, in high doses can cause disruption and damage to various forms of human tissue, and in particular, the retina," explains Park.

"However, the amount of blue light emitted by digital devices is significantly smaller than that emitted by the sun or present in outdoor environments."

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In other words, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that blue light emitted by digital devices could actually cause damage to the eye.

Don't believe the hype

Over the past couple of years, reputable eyewear retailers have positioned the blue light lens service as a 'fix' for those who spend hours in front of a screen to prevent eye strain. But there is simply no evidence to support this add-on.

Succumbing to the blue light lens phenomenon, I actually invested into the additional service not once, but twice. To say I 'see a difference' (pardon the pun) would be a lie, as you simply can't gauge its effects or not - my eyes are still sore one way or another from looking at a screen for prolonged periods of time.

"Claims of "harmful" blue light allegedly emitted by digital devices are overstated and not properly supported by any current research or scientific evidence. Of course, screen-based tasks can definitely cause your eyes to strain, which results in eye fatigue," says Park.

"But there are simple ways to aid this which may include drinking more water, blinking regularly, taking regular breaks from your screen, or the 20/20/20 rule: for every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will help relax your eyes."

What you really need

If you are experiencing symptoms of eye soreness, fatigue, headaches, etc then it's an eye test or a trip to the doctor for you.

And should you require opticals, deciding on the right frames for your face shape shouldn't be as arduous as one may think.

"My advice when choosing new glasses is you should always go with your gut feeling and choose something that makes you feel comfortable and that expresses your individual style," says Stig Engelbreth Hansen, Head of Design and Product Development at Specsavers.

Official styles

On the topic of opticals, as individuals become more diligent with their overall health and appearance, opticals will become not only a necessity but a fashion accessory.

Letterbox shape

Heavily influenced by the early '90's styles, letterbox shapes are emerging in invisible rimless styles with a high bridge round eye.

Retro

Retro is back in all forms, and as we look to optical designs, we will see styles bigger and louder than ever before.

"This is a sharp and masculine look that will accentuate your jawline; one glance at the Ray-Ban, Persol and Oliver Peoples optical range and you will see sharp and defined acetate styles," says Stewart Walton, Vice President of Product at OPSM.

Bold statement

"This year will reflect confidence and expression of individuality, with bold shades for every mood and persona.Panto shapes in both metal and acetate are key, while aviator style glasses are still a cool classic," says Engelbreth Hansen.

"The new HUGO collection is a prime example of bold statements for 2019: think modern-urban styles in sharp metal and bold acetate, semi-transparent acetate and satin flat sheet metals."

Check out the gallery above to see seven of the best eyewear styles to rock in the office.

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