Do photochromic lenses filter blue light? The simple answer ...
Do photochromic lenses filter blue light? The simple answer to this is yes.
Photochromic lenses are not designed for this purpose as they are designed to darken on exposure to sunlight and prevent your eyes from the harmful effect of Ultraviolet light. Most people buy Photochromic lenses because they don't want to continually switch between clear glasses and sunglasses when they move from indoors to bright sunlight.
However, photochromic lenses also protect our eyes from the blue light from the sun as well as our digital devices thus preventing digital eye strain, mid-afternoon fatigue, headaches, and trouble sleeping. This may eliminate the need for further prescription glasses in some cases.
Crazy right? Let's dive right into the fine details.
If you are familiar with glasses and their treatment or you were one you have probably heard of ‘blue light filter.’ However, you may be wondering what they are.
It is important to talk about the types of blue light before we discuss blue light filtering. There are two types of blue light which are:
Blue light – turquoise: This is the type of blue light that is emitted from the sun and can even be beneficial for health, especially regulating the circadian rhythm. This is because it helps regulate our “biological clock” by suppressing the production of melatonin and influencing the production of serotonin, which promotes that feeling of well-being, and also the production of vitamin D in our body.
Blue-violet light: On the other hand, blue-violet light is considered harmful to eye health, especially with prolonged exposure. It is usually emitted by artificial lights in our immediate surroundings as well as digital devices with screens.
To prevent blue-violet light, which is harmful to the eye, lenses with a blue light filter are treated with a protective coating that can be used in prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses.
It is important to note that only turquoise blue light—which is generally beneficial to body and visual health—is allowed to pass through this protection.
Even though blue light and ultraviolet light rays aren't the same thing, blue light is just a level below UV rays on the light spectrum and thus can still be harmful to the eyes, especially with prolonged exposure to digital screens and direct sunlight. Any invisible and partially visible light can have side effects that are harmful to your eye health.
While UV exposure can be avoided by staying inside or forgoing tanning beds, blue light is practically everywhere digital devices thrive. Our eyes are daily exposed to blue lights from Smartphones, Laptops, Tablets, Smart TVs, and much more.
Although photochromic lenses were designed for a different purpose, they do indeed have blue light-filtering capabilities.
Photochromic lenses generally provide protection against the highest energy level on the light spectrum (UV rays). While UV light and blue light are not the same thing, high-energy blue-violet light is next to UV light on the electromagnetic spectrum.
This means that photochromic lenses can also protect against blue light and are excellent for computer use or use with other blue light-exposing digital devices.
Blue light, emitted by the digital screens we use every day, not only causes eye strain which can lead to headaches and blurred vision but can also disrupt our sleep cycle according to studies.
While blue light in small amounts may have positive effects, like helping you sleep better, most people don't moderate their screen time and therefore are at risk of side effects if prolonged exposure to blue light.
Here is a complete list of blue light side effects:
●Macular degeneration: Blue light can cause retinal damage, which has been linked to macular degeneration, especially age-related macular degeneration..
●Dry eyes: When you look at digital screens, which emit a lot of blue light, you blink less often (and even less if you wear contact lenses), which leads to insufficient moisture production in your eyes.
●Digital Eye Strain: Constant exposure to blue light can cause fatigue in your ciliary and extraocular muscles.
●Blurred vision: When your ciliary and extraocular muscles weaken, your vision can become blurry. Relaxation of these muscles is a side effect of digital eye strain, caused by blue light.
●Cataracts: You may have heard that sun exposure can lead to cataracts, but blue light also produces the same cells responsible for this debilitating eye condition. This is with prolonged exposure to blue light over the years without any protective eyewear.
●Headaches: Straining to see when your eyes are tired and your vision is blurry can also cause headaches.
●Insomnia: Do you take a long time to fall asleep after looking at your phone in bed for an extended period of time? Blue light may be responsible for your difficulty falling asleep.
●Restless sleep: Even if you fall asleep fairly quickly, blue light can deprive you of the vital rest that sleep should provide you.
While exposure to blue light (turquoise) is important for keeping our wellbeing, alertness, and cognitive performance during the day, chronic exposure to low‐intensity blue light directly before bedtime, may have serious implications on our circadian phase and sleep quality.
This raises inevitably the need for solutions to improve well-being, alertness, and cognitive performance in today's modern society where exposure to blue light-emitting devices is ever-increasing.
Photochromic lenses have many benefits, particularly because they function as both glasses and sunglasses as they darken when exposed to ultraviolet light from the sun and protect against UV rays In addition, we have shown that photochromic lenses filter blue light from digital screens and sunlight.
By reducing the effects of glare and protecting your eyes from harmful overexposure to blue light, photochromic glasses can contribute to a more comfortable user experience.
Do you want a reliable photochromic lens partner? Maat Optical has been dedicated to the art of producing photochromic lenses for more than 20 years and they are ready to satisfy all your wholesale photochromic lens needs.