In today’s world that is full of electronic devices, we need to be aware of blue light and UV, not just for ourselves, but for our patients. The harmful rays of light emitted from our mobile devices and computers to walking outside and getting the much sought-after UV rays from the sun are something we need to protect our eyes from. This is something I discuss with all of my patients when they’re in my office. Be it sitting behind a computer every day and then taking a break and checking out their email, Instagram and Facebook, or taking a walk in the sunshine, our patients have to protect their eyes from this damaging problem. I love the idea that we protect our skin from the UV exposure; why wouldn’t we protect our eyes in the same way? This is why I prescribe both Transitions lenses and a blue light protector for every patient that ever goes outside or looks at a smart device—which is everyone!
One of the things I talk about is how to increase our per patient revenue. Prescribing blue light protection is a great way to do this. I explain to my patients in the exam chair why it is important to protect our eyes from the harmful rays of the sun, and also the harmful rays of our smart devices. I ask them if they have ever wondered at the end of the day (and even more so at the end of the evening) why their eyes are so tired and why they have trouble sleeping. This is because of the blue light emitted by our smart devices. I tell my patients that by protecting their eyes from these harmful rays their eyes will feel so good they will want to be on the computer even longer…a little joke, but a statement of the importance of protecting our eyes. This tells them there are consequences for not protecting their eyes from these rays. I always stress the importance of eye protection outdoors, much like wearing sunscreen to protect from a burn. Our patients come to us for our expertise and for our skills to give them the best possible correction, so this is why it is so important to prescribe the best possible correction, both in lens choice and what comes with it. We must listen to what our patients need and then prescribe what will give them the best possible correction and protection. I always prescribe the best no-glare lens available, along with blue light protection and light intelligent lenses to ultimately protect their eyes. This does not take from my prescribing sunglasses and contact lenses. We need to listen to our patients’ needs and lifestyles and prescribe accordingly. It is so important to realize the importance of medically prescribing glasses and Transitions have done a great job letting us know this. I want the best for my family and since my patients are my family that is why I always prescribe the best.
Today we are all on smart devices, from minutes to hours, so this is why it is so important to let our patients know what blue light does to their eyes. Patients are so much more aware of what is best for their bodies; it is our job to teach them how to protect their eyes. We are stuck with the same eyes for our entire life so let’s keep them healthy. Always remember blue light protection when prescribing glasses—your patients will thank you.
Eric White, OD is the owner of Complete Family Vision Care Optometry in San Diego, CA. He is a clinical investigator for several contact lens companies having participated on over 420 clinical studies. Dr. White has published several articles on contact lenses and given numerous talks on contact lenses, eye safety, computer vision syndrome and practice management. Dr. White was awarded the 2012 Transitions National Eyecare Practice of the Year, the 2014 Vision Monday Innovator of the Year, the 2015 Transitions Ambassador of the Year and the 2017 San Diego County Optometrist of the Year. For questions or comments about this article, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.