Following the explosion of warnings about digital Eyestrain and harmful blue light, manufacturers have introduced an extensive catalog of protective lenses.
Whether we like it or not our world has changed. Whoever thought the bulky cell phones from the ’90s and a technology company named after a fruit would lead our lives to become so dependent on personal electronics. This has changed how many of us use our eyes. Combine that with the blue light that is omitted from these devices, and we now have what we call “digital eyestrain.”
The Vision Council of America reports that 70% of patients are already suffering from digital eyestrain with symptoms of blurred vision, tired or dry eyes and neck strain. Other data suggests that percentage will climb
Digital eyestrain is not just for adults. Many of these complaints are coming from patients who are much younger than presbyopic age. Our children, with their ever increasing usage of personal electronics, are also presenting with headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes and sleep disorders. Is it possible that this digital eyestrain in our children can have a negative effect on their performance in school?
Along with the 20-20-20 rule (every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds to look at something at least 20 feet away) it is recommended that our children also limit personal electronic use at home to one or two hours a day and that they also stop using digital devices an hour or two before bedtime.
Luckily, lens designers and manufacturers have created solutions to offer our patients. We have a great opportunity to improve the quality of our patients’ lives and make a difference educating our patients and offering the following products.
There are different categories of products that address digital eyestrain. There are blue light filters in the form of coatings, lenses and tints. There are also specialty single vision lenses that have a very low add (under 1.00D) at the bottom of the lens. All these products are very useful, and the available products allow every individual to find something that can fit their lifestyle. The following are some examples:
The Zeiss Digital Lens is designed for patients aged 25 to 45 who use their personal electronics throughout the day. This lens has a wide clear distance zone and a comfortable near zone for stress-free viewing of digital screens. This lens is designed for all-day wear for single vision patients suffering from digital eyestrain.
Hoya SYNC single vision lenses are designed to provide effortless, comfortable viewing adaptation to a visually strenuous day. The design of SYNC lenses allows wearers to focus in all directions and distances while eyes remain relaxed all day long. Not only does this alleviate eyestrain, it significantly reduces fatigue caused by our everyday near task routines.
The Shamir Relax is a Freeform lens that has a 0.65D add power in the lower part. It is a small enough amount to allow for clear distance vision but just enough power to relieve eyestrain. This lens is meant for single vision patients suffering from fatigue.
The company reports that Shamir Relax reduces your patients’ lens accommodations by up to 30%. This lens is meant for single vision and pre-presbyopic patients (even non-prescription patients) who have symptoms of digital eyestrain.
Essilor of America, Inc. has developed a solution that combines both accommodation of digital eyestrain and blue light protection. Eyezen single vision lenses from Essilor, contain a small amount of accommodative relief (a low add at the bottom) to help alleviate eyestrain caused by viewing near objects such as cell phones and tablets. Eyezen+ single vision lenses, sold exclusively through independent eyecare professionals, include the Smart Blue Filter feature which is embedded into an aesthetically clear lens and designed to help reduce 20% of harmful blue light from entering the eyes.
Eyezen+ lenses come in three lens designs, Eyezen+ 1 for patients aged 18 to 34 (0.4D add), Eyezen+ 2 for patients aged 35 to 44 (0.6D add) and Eyezen+ 3 for patients aged 45 to 50 (0.85D add). Eyezen+ is available in numerous materials.
Combine Crizal Prevencia with
Essilor’s new Eyezen+ single vision lenses for the ultimate protection against harmful light.
BLUE LIGHT LENSES
Gunnar offers solutions for both prescription and non-prescription patients. The company’s amber tints block blue light using anti-reflective coatings that filter blue light on the front and back of the lens. Gunnar frames and lenses feature wraparound lens designs that help prevent dry eyes to ease eyestrain.
Transitions Optical lenses help protect eyes from harmful blue light indoors and outdoors. Hoya Recharge anti-reflective treatment reflects blue light waves emitted from digital devices, compact fluorescent light bulbs and more.
Chemistrie by Eyenavision offers a blue-light-filtering option in its magnetic lens layers. Chemistrie Blue lenses filter a portion of the high energy violet and blue light to help ease digital eyestrain. Chemistrie Blue is available in intermediate distance powers from plano to +2.00D. Chemistrie Blue will fit virtually any frame, base curve matched. They are extremely lightweight and available in clear.
The Adlens Interface has all the features of Adlens Alvarez but also with custom, yellow-tinted lenses designed to filter high energy visible (HEV) light in backlit screens, combating digital eyestrain and boosting productivity and focus.
ZEISS DuraVision BlueProtect filters blue light shorter than 440 nm and reflects parts of the blue-violet light, preventing it from entering the eye, while keeping the high transmission level above 460 nm. ZEISS DuraVision BlueProtect is a great
solution for anyone who uses digital devices.
COATINGS, LABS AND MORE
Sharper Image TechShield is a coating that both absorbs and deflects the wavelength of blue light associated with digital eyestrain. With a near-clear appearance, it provides a great way to reduce blue light exposure for both corrective lenses and non-prescription lenses. The coating also resists scratches and smudges, helps reduce glare and cleans easily. Sharper Image TechShield is available on all UNITY lenses from VSP Optics Group.
BluTech Lenses are infused with ocular pigment and melanin that protect the eyes from harmful high energy blue light radiated from light bulbs, personal electronics and televisions. BluTech is available in KODAK Unique HD, KODAK Unique, KODAK Precise PB, KODAK Precise Short PB, KODAK SoftWear, KODAK Digital Single Vision, Signetek FT 28 and Signetek Single Vision from Signet Armorlite, Inc.
KODAK Total Blue Lens is a hybrid of lens material and coating that filters up to 80% of HEV blue light and offers 100% direct UV protection. It is available in numerous KODAK Lens designs from Signet Armorlite in both clear and polarized.
VISION EASE has a great option for practices with their own lab, Clear Blue Filter Lens with 100% UV protection (400 nm) and the blue light filter built into the lens. These semi-finished clear polycarbonate lenses are available in numerous base curves. Coming soon from VISION EASE will be the finished single vision Clear Blue Filter Lens with or without Super Hydrophobic AR.
Luzerne Optical Laboratories offers TheraBlue lenses that at 420 nm absorb up to 90% blue light, at 430 nm absorb up to 40% blue light and at 450 nm absorb up to 11%, depending on the material. These are near clear lenses available in 1.67, 1.60 and 1.56 and soon in polycarbonate. Thera-Blue lenses are available in single
vision, progressive, digital round bi-focals and computer lenses. Thera-Blue is also compatible with a wide variety of anti-reflective coatings.
BluTech lenses are not a coating or tint. They are a lens material that filters varying amounts of blue light ranging from 400 nm to 500 nm. The distinctive blue light filtering is part of the 1.56 index, high impact substrate that is available in indoor and outdoor (polarized) options.
Lens styles include semi-finished single vision and FT 28. These semi-finished lenses can be used in many backside progressives, computer and advanced digital single vision (low add options). They are also available in finished single vision.
Based on what we now know about high energy blue light and its negative effects such as digital eyestrain, back and neck problems, disruptions to sleep cycles (circadian rhythm), changes is serotonin levels and possible connection to irreversible age related macular degeneration, it is our responsibility to educate our patients/customers and what is available to help protect them.
Mark Johnson, ABOC, NCLC, LDO, is the director of optical services at Virginia Eye Institute in Richmond, VA.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
Adlens USA, Inc. • 888.459.9793 • adlens.com
Essilor of America, Inc. • 800.542.5668 • essilorusa.com
Eye Solutions Technologies, LLC • 800.258.5902 • blutechlenses.com
Gunnar Optiks • 877.824.3322 • gunnars.com
Luzerne Optical Laboratories, Ltd. • 800.233.9637 • luzerneoptical.com
Younger Optics • 800.366.5367 • youngeroptics.com