In the past four columns, I reviewed the published research on 1) the links between blue light exposure and sleep1 and 2) the role of macular pigment2 in filtering blue light, reducing oxidative stress and enhancing visual functions3,4. For this column, I will share how my practice (Vision Optique) discusses Digital Eye Health® with patients.
We discuss Digital Eye Health® topics with our patients daily, including5:
• Digital Eye Strain6 (DES) Prevention
• Dry Eye Disease7 (DED) Management
• Sleep Issues1 and Digital Habits Review
• UV & Blue Light Protection (BLP)5
DES symptoms are affecting people across the globe5.
Figure 1. 2016 The Digital Eye Strain Report6, Vision Council
VisionWatch Survey (2015): 10,329 USA adults aged 18-65.
Figure 2. UV & Blue-Violet Light Ocular Risks & Prevention5 2017, Page 176
Ipsos Survey(2014)13: four countries (Brazil, China, France and the United States), 4034 people aged 18-65
Identify DES Symptoms During Case History8
Digital Habits Review
• Computers: How many screens? How many hours per day?
• Phone/Tablet: How many hours per day (social media, emails, texting, entertainment)?
• Traditional print material: How many hours per day?
• Students: What percentage of your studying/homework is digital?
• Bedtime Digital Device: What are your eyes looking at an hour before going to sleep? Do you have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep?
• Are you experiencing any Digital Eye Strain symptoms?
• Are you aware that we have solutions to relieve these symptoms?
Prescribe Solutions and Protections8
• Premium daily disposable contact lens9
• Plano BLP*:
• Contact lens wearers
• Patients with good natural vision but experiencing DES symptoms
• Children who are high screen time users with Plano Rx
• Rx Ophthalmic Lens with BLP:
• Patients younger than 45: anti-fatigue lens designs
• Patients older than 45: premium progressive lenses
• High Screen-Time users: additional computer single vision or progressive lens
• Separate Ocular Surface medical exam on identified dry eye/MGD patients7
• Sleep hygiene10,11, avoid devices if possible, and eye wear with BLP1 before bedtime
*BLP = Blue Light Protection with Selective Harmful Blue Blocking Filter or Coating
Review Lens Benefits at Dispense8
• UV & Blue Light Protection (BLP) to help protect eyes indoors & outdoors7
• BLP to help reduce digital eye strain5,6, improve quality of sleep1, and protect retina long term12
• Anti-glare coating to reduce glare from devices and to improve night driving
• Anti-fatigue lens design to improve focusing and to reduce fatigue
The digitally connected lifestyle has changed our viewing habits and created a growing list of visual and health issues. Optometrists play an important role as Digital Eye Health® educators and protectors.
*Correction for October Blue Light Bulletin: source of the “Photo 1 Lutein/Zeaxanthin Amounts” is All About Vision’s own diagram with data from the USDA National Nutrient Database.
Dr. Bridgitte Shen Lee earned an optometry degree from University of Houston College of Optometry in 1998. She is the CEO of Vision Optique and iTravelCE. She writes and lectures on the topics of Digital Eye Health, Dry Eye Disease, Anti-Aging Eye Care, Health Care Social Media, and Aesthetic Optometry.
Financial Disclosures: Johnson & Johnson Vision, Shire, Essilor, OCuSOFT, Guardion Health Sciences, Bausch & Lomb, Luxottica