Last updated on Sep 19th, 2018 at 01:53 pm

Avoiding harmful blue light is hard when you work on a computer, but could blue-light blocking glasses help? I found out…

I don’t know about you, but I find it very hard to limit screen time, even though research has found that blue light emitted from electronic screens do more than disturb sleep – it may slowly destroy our eyesight.

According to Dr Ajith Karunarathne, assistant professor in the UT Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, it’s no secret that blue light harms our vision by damaging the eye’s retina.

“We are being exposed to blue light continuously, and the eye’s cornea and lens cannot block or reflect it.”

As if that it’s scary enough, another study linked blue light exposure to an increased risk of developing breast and prostate cancer.

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It’s hard to limit screen time

Personally, I find it hard to limit screen time. I don’t watch much TV and prefer bound books to electronic ones, but I work on a computer for hours a day and enjoy a short daily ritual of scrolling through a pretty Instagram feed.

Instead of changing careers (although who doesn’t use a computer nowadays?!) and giving up Instagram, a more realistic way to avoid blue light is to get blue-light blocking glasses.

Putting blue-light blocking glasses to the test

I had the opportunity to get my eyes tested by Mellins i-Style and have ZEISS DuraVision® BlueProtect coating added to my prescription glasses. It’s been almost two weeks and already I’m noticing some surprising differences.

I don’t feel as tired as usual

I thought I was tired because I have a busy toddler, but after wearing my glasses with the ZEISS DuraVision® BlueProtect coating, I noticed that I don’t feel quite as fatigued as usual.

I don’t rub my eyes as much as I used to

Mascara racoon eyes was a norm for me, but since wearing the blue-light blocking glasses, my mascara stays put far longer. I realised that I must have been rubbing my eyes a few times throughout the day because my eyes were strained and tired.

I’m more screen time aware

Wearing glasses with ZEISS DuraVision® BlueProtect has made me realise how much strain my eyes had been taking before.

It may be the novelty of the new specs, but they have also made me conscious of taking screen breaks by looking away from my laptop screen for a few seconds and reminding myself to blink while working – two easy ways to help reduce screen related eye strain.

What is so special about Zeiss’s DuraVision® BlueProtect?

There’s a whole lot of science behind it but essentially ZEISS DuraVision® BlueProtect reflects parts of the blue-violet light emitted by LEDs, TVs, computer-, tablet- or mobile phone screens, thereby preventing light from entering the eye.

However, unlike over-the-counter blue-light blocking glasses, the coating can be added to prescription glasses in a frame of your choice.

This means that the experience starts with advanced eye testing technology, offered by Mellins i-Style, based on research that has found that each eye is as unique as a fingerprint with a unique placement and number of abrasions (high and low spots).

How to protect yourself from digital screens’ blue light

The first test, which takes only 60 seconds, measures the abrasions to create an optical map of each eye. What’s interesting is that people who have many abrasions often suffer from night blindness. The good news is that this optical map can be used to have i.Scription lenses made, which offers up to 30% improvement of vision and dramatically improves night vision.

Fortunately, I had only a few abrasions (I guess that means I can no longer blame my unwillingness to drive at night on night blindness).

i.Profiler screening at Mellins
i.Profiler screening at Mellins i-Style in Somerset West

Can you fail an eye test?

Following the optical map test is a thorough eye test with a qualified optometrist.

One of my concerns about an eye test is how we make sure the results are accurate, because, let’s face it, an eye test sometimes feels like a game of guessing the clearest of two very similar images or letters.

I chatted with optometrist Meriek van den Berg and she explained that not only do they use the optical map, they do three tests during the eye examination to confirm the results.  If there are any conflicting results, the optometrist will redo the conflicting test.

As for the ZEISS DuraVision® BlueProtect coating, I recommend it to anyone who is often exposed to a digital screen. After all, while the immediate perk of avoiding mascara-smudged racoon eyes is great, the long-term benefit of protecting your eyesight makes it a modern-day must-have.

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.