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Tired of having tired eyes?

by Bethany Huston, Licensed Optician

Everyday eight out of 10 people suffer from visual fatigue, and the primary cause is digital devices. Computers, TVs, iPhones, Tablets, etc. all emit harmful high-energy blue-light which can potentially damage the retinas and put a strain on the eye muscles causing tired eyes. Blue-violet light is harmful to retinal cells, the cells in the back of the eye that connect to the optic nerve, and is one of the risk factors for the onset of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the number one cause of severe vision loss and legal blindness in adults over 60, and having a family history can increase your chances of developing AMD. Fortunately, there are many ways both adults and children can protect themselves from high-energy blue-light and visual fatigue.

Adults and children should have limited exposure to digital devices. At the very least, we encourage the 20/20/20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break to look at least 20 feet away. Also, take a 10-minute break away from the digital device every hour.

There are also many eyeglass lenses and lens treatments now available to help reduce exposure to harmful blue-light and visual fatigue, and the glasses can be made with or without a prescription. Two popular eyeglass lenses for reducing eye strain and tired eyes are anti-fatigue lenses and computer or office lenses. These eyeglass lenses are designed so that your eyes do not have to work as hard to see a digital device.

In addition, new eyeglass lens treatments have been developed to reduce exposure to harmful blue-light. Crizal Prevencia is an anti-glare treatment that is proven to deflect harmful blue-violet light by 20 percent. This new no-glare treatment can be added to both single vision and no-line bifocal lenses. Also new to the market are BluTech eyeglass lenses that protect your eyes from more than 60 percent of harmful blue-light. The BluTech lens has a slight amber-colored tint that was specifically created to give your eyes the best defense against harmful blue-violet light. BluTech lenses are available for both indoor and outdoor use. They can be ordered as single vision, line-bifocal, no-line bifocal, and as computer lenses.  Both of these lens treatments will slow the development of macular degeneration. The new lens treatments not only give a person ultra-violet and high-energy blue-light protection, but they also improve contrast and reduce glare which also improves night vision.

These new eyeglass lenses and lens treatments are ideal for people who spend three hours or more a day using a computer or other electronic screen, work under fluorescent lighting, have just had cataract surgery, have a family history of macular degeneration, or anyone interested in preserving lifelong healthy vision. Ask your optometrist which eyeglass lenses and treatments would work best for you to reduce visual fatigue!