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Like so many others I wear glasses. I have worn them since I was a little kid. I could not remember, so I had to call and ask my mother how old I was when I got my first pair. She says that I was 7. That is pretty young. However, my girls have followed my lead. They just turned 10 and they have both worn glasses for a couple of years. I do wonder if my boys will also follow suit. Hopefully they will take after their father and be lucky enough to have 20/20 vision.

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With the amount of technology out today we now have the added worry of the effects of computer screens, tablets, smartphones, and more on our eyes. As as new VSP ambassador, I recently had the opportunity to ask Dr. Gary Morgan a few questions about just what all these fancy devices can do to our eyes. He also talked about UNITY BluTech lenses. Unique lens composition blocks harmful blue light and UVA/UVB radiation emitted by electronic devices.

What problems or damages do you see in the eyes of workers who sit in front of computer screens all day?

In recent years, Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) has gotten the attention of eye doctors and the media regarding the symptoms that it produces, such as dry eyes, headaches and neck pain. While these symptoms may range from bothersome to debilitating, they can be managed with artificial tears, glare control measures and proper ergonomics. However, there is a much more dangerous problem with computer and digital device use. The lighting produced by electronic screens has a high amount of blue wavelength light, which has been linked to serious health and eye conditions.

While the effects of UV light are well-known (sunburn, skin cancer), UV light does not sufficiently reach the back of the eye or retina as it is blocked by the cornea and lens. While UV is a cause of certain eye conditions, they are generally treatable and preventable by wearing sunglasses. Visible light, on the other hand (think of the colors of the rainbow), does reach the retina, and the blue wavelength is damaging with the potential to cause blindness.

We are exposed to more blue light today than we have been at any other time in history due to the proliferation of electronic screens. In addition, we are using much more fluorescent lighting for energy conservation, the “greening of America.” These light sources have a high blue spectral emission. Since some electronic devices are held close to our eyes, such as smart phones and tablets, the intensity of the blue light is even greater. Over time, this exposure leads to retinal damage, including Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), which is the leading cause of blindness for people over age 50.

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