Summer is coming to an end and it’s time for kids to go back to school! Are you making sure your children’s eyes are fully protected from UV and harmful blue light? Below, Dr. Ryan Corte interviews optometrist and fellow Transitions® Change agent, Dr. Jennifer Lyerly, on children’s glasses and blue light protection!
For highlights from this interview, watch the video below!
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Dr. Corte: My name is Dr. Ryan Corte and I’m here with Dr. Jennifer Lyerly who is an optometrist, a fellow Transitions® Change agent, an outstanding blogger, and a social media expert. Today we’re gearing up and getting ready for back to school by giving parents insight on children’s blue light protection!
Harmful blue light is everywhere!
Dr. Corte: For parents who may not know, what exactly is harmful blue light?
Dr. Lyerly: Harmful blue light – you’ll often see it abbreviated as HEV when you’re reading articles or looking at it online. HEV means high energy visible light.
It’s a little bit different than UV light, which we think about in regards to sun damage. In both cases, you really can’t see harmful blue light or UV rays coming down (from the sun).
Dr. Corte: What are a few of the main indoor and outdoor sources of harmful blue light?
Dr. Lyerly: Overwhelmingly, the biggest, worst source of high energy harmful blue light is the SUN! Tablets, cell phones, TVs, computers, and LED lights are all sources of indoor blue light.
About 1 hour under direct LED light is the equivalent of about 15 minutes of sunlight. Therefore, the sun is far and away our biggest harmful source.
Dr. Corte: How does harmful blue light effect children’s eyes and overall health?
Dr. Lyerly: As kids, we don’t have any natural, built-in protection from UV light or from HEV blue light.
We know that it can cause quite a few changes to both how our eyes feel and potentially the health of our eyes. This includes eye fatigue and issues with light sensitivity.
There are also some studies that suggest it can be damaging in higher toxic amounts. In addition, there may even be a link with harmful blue light causing early-onset cataract and macular degeneration formation.
Blue light concerns have increased
Dr. Corte: It seems light harmful blue light has been around for awhile. Why should parents be concerned about it now?
Dr. Lyerly: You’re right! Harmful blue light has been around for as long as we’ve had the sun! What’s new and different is the device use that is so prevalent in our society now.
A recent study suggests that nearly 3 in 4 kids under the age of 18 are on devices at least 2 hours a day. We used to think while being indoors that our eyes were protected from harmful blue light. Now we’re exposed to it indoors too. This added exposure to blue light from device use is really what’s renewing and raising a lot of concerns and interest in blue light now.
Best glasses for kids UV light & harmful blue light protection
Dr. Corte: What lens products do you recommend to protect children’s eyes from harmful blue light?
Dr. Lyerly: Think about a kid, their lifestyle. They’re not going to be switching back and forth between multiple pairs of glasses. Therefore, I want one lens that really does it all. I need it to have built-in UV protection and blue light protection. Also, I need it to have that clear lens visibility so they can wear it indoors.
That product for me is Transitions® lenses!
When wearing Transitions®, their eyes are protected from blue light both indoors and out with the same pair of glasses that fully protects them from UV light. So we’ve got 1 pair of glasses that provide full coverage!
Dr. Corte: Dr. Lyerly, thank you so much for taking the time to chat about harmful blue light and the benefits of wearing Transitions® lenses.