It’s a simple question that children often ask but typically receive no answer. Fact: the sky is blue because blue light rays emanating from the sun are diffused by the air molecules in our atmosphere to create the effect.
Blue light is ubiquitous; while the sun is the largest single source, it’s also generated by fluorescent and LED light bulbs, computer screens and mobile digital devices.
We now know that there is good blue light and bad blue light: Good blue light actually provides needed health benefits to humans; bad blue light, on the other hand, can potentially cause health disruptions, such as a potential change in one’s circadian rhythm and is especially detrimental to ocular health. Additionally, blue light overexposure has been broadly associated with increased risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and macular degeneration.
The optical industry has heard these claims from the array of lens and coatings makers who have introduced products to offer blue light protection. But how many eyecare professionals have taken this information to heart?
There are still naysayers out there, many of them prominent in the optical community, who say that the jury is still out on blue light, that there’s not enough good scientific evidence to demonize blue light overexposure (of course there are still people who don’t believe in evolution, either).
The point is that the world in general and the American culture in particular has become so wedded to our digital devices that there is certain to be some physiological impact. Not knowing about the possible dangers blue light may impose and not understanding the methods and materials available to combat it is, in this digital age, simply not good healthcare.
First Vision Media Group, Inc., the company that publishes VCPN and a host of other products for the optical fields, has partnered with education provider Quantum Optical to produce a series of ten CE dinner meetings throughout the U.S. in July and August for optometrists and opticians on the subject of blue light protection. The program, called B.L.U.E. (blue light understanding & education), features a number of multimedia components, including a proprietary web page and an exclusive supplement called BLUE LIGHT + VISION, which will appear in July and be offered to attendees at the summer meetings.
Attendance is free, and the education is vital. You can register to participate at www.knowbluelight.com.
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