Managing the Risks

Protection from UV and Blue-Violet Light

According to Mark Dunbar, OD (Doctor of Optometry) on ReviewofOptometry.com in February 2014:

“How can we block the harmful blue rays of light but allow the helpful blue rays of light to penetrate through and get into the eye? Essilor and the Paris Vision Institute established a goal of finding a selective light filter or a lens to block out UV as well as the harmful blue-violet light and yet allow the blue-turquoise light and the longer wavelengths of light to continue to penetrate through it. They did this with Light Scan, a patented, selective, no glare technology with three key features: 1) it selectively filters out harmful blue-violet and UV light, 2) it allows the beneficial visible light, including the blue-turquoise light, to pass through and 3) it maintains an excellent transparency of the lens, so there’s no color distortion and you get excellent clarity with the lens.

They ended up providing a lens with front-side as well as back-side protection. The front side of the lens deflects UV light as well as about 20% of the blue-violet light to then deflect away the harmful rays. And the back side protects the patient from the reflective glare that comes off the back surface of the lens, mainly from UV light. Traditional blue blockers give you pretty sunsets, but that’s not what you want. You don’t want color distortion; you want your colors to be natural. The traditional blue blockers do not discriminate in the blue light spectrum. They just block all the blue light. This new lens technology is based on laboratory studies over a four-year period of time by a high-class group of scientists as well as clinicians who came up with some very important data that allowed them to zoom in on the light that needed to be blocked and the light that needed to get through. So this new lens design really is very specific for more selective light.

Who’s going to need the most protection? Those who have high exposure to white LED or fluorescent light bulbs in offices and homes, frequent users of LED computer monitors, tablets, or smartphones, and those at risk for AMD, particularly those at high risk, (those with family history, smokers, etc.). Many companies are working on technology to look at harmful blue light and ways to block that and still allow healthy blue light to remain.”

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