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Lighting & Blue Light Filter Advice For Eyes 

How have you found moving into your home office due to the COVID pandemic? I've had some lovely patients ask me about lighting, and I just wanted to share with you some simple information to help your eyes feel more comfortable and reduce eye strain.

 

Do keep in mind that it's important to have good room lighting too, so that your eyes are not continually trying to adjust between the brightness on your screen / desk, then readjusting to the light in the room, and back and forth and back and forth.

Daylight Desk Lamp Portable Smart Travel

Choosing a desk lamp

What's important when choosing a desk lamp is to make sure that it:
1. has adjustable lighting
2. does not flicker
3. high quality LED or halogen lightbulb (is not fluoro)

 

One great option is the Daylight Smart Travel Rechargeable Lamp. You can purchase it online here.

 

SIMPLE TIPS FOR OPTIMISING YOUR LIGHTING SITUATION IN YOUR WORKSPACE

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  • Always have a well-lit room, and well-lit device / book / desk
  • The lighting of your computer / screen / book should be similar to that of the ambient room lighting, otherwise this will cause eye-strain (never read in the dark)
  • Make sure that your lighting is flicker-free
  • The closer a lamp is to your reading material, the more effective it will be. A bright light from the ceiling will be not as effective as a desk lamp from above your shoulder from behind, or a lamp directly onto your book.
  • Read further ergonomic tips by a fantastic world renowned optometrist Dr Jennifer Long here
  • Make sure that the lighting you have is adjustable
  • Check for sources of glare indoors such as reflections from your computer screen from the window, you may need to reposition the angle of your computer screen to reduce reflections from outside
  • Install blinds on windows to block of bright sunlight at certain times of the day
  • Position your workstation / chair at a 90 degree angle from large windows to reduce glare from the sun
  • Replace a single high intensity light fixture with several lower intensity lights instead
  • Adjust your monitor brightness to match the brightness of the area directly behind it
  • Avoid positioning your monitor right under an overhead light

    Cover naked light bulbs with shades to soften and direct light away from your eyes

     

  • Utilise apps such as f.lux to adjust your screen brightness depending on the time of day (https://justgetflux.com/)
  • Use your blue light filter on your phone, or "night mode" when appropriate
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WHAT ABOUT BLUE LIGHT? IS IT HARMFUL?

It's disappointing that there's so much misinformation out there about how 'harmful' blue light is, when in fact there is no evidence to show that normal amounts of blue light from excessive computer or screen use 'damages' your eyes. The amount of blue light that you receive from being on devices all day long is much less than what you are exposed to as soon as you walk outside during day light from the sun.

 

However, can blue light cause eye strain? In most cases, the cause of your eye strain is related to the need to take more breaks, to blink more, to wear the appropriate glasses for computer use, to have a quality anti-reflective coating on your lenses, the quality of your lenses, and dryness of the eyes. An appointment with an optometrist who has an interest in this area will determine whether glasses, eye drops, blink exercises, or a blue filter may be appropriate for you.

 

Read an interesting article from CHOICE here that quotes a well respected optometrist and ophthalmologist (eye doctor). 

 

See the Royal New Zealand and Australian College of Ophthalmologists' position statement here, or watch this video from a paediatric ophthalmologist who explains the evidence and lack of evidence very well.

What if I'm a poor sleeper?

In this case, yes. There is evidence that blue light can affect your sleeping patterns. If you are someone that suffers from poor sleep quality, it could be worthwhile considering blue filtering apps on your devices, as well as blue filter anti-reflective coatings on lenses that are prescribed by your optometrist. Please book an appointment to have your eyes comprehensively assessed and I will advise you whether blue filters may be of benefit for your eyes.

 

What if I don't like the blue sheen on the lenses on blue filter glasses? There are alternative lenses that cut out blue light without the blue sheen - just ask me during your visit :)

 

Here's a picture of one my favourite blue filters called 21 Ray made in Taiwan. Click the picture below to see a video of me wearing one of my blue filter prescription glasses demonstrating blink exercises.

Blink Exercises while wearing Blue Filter Glasses

Contact Dr Carina Trinh by emailing hello@carinaeyecare.com.au, sending a text to or calling 0423 590 959.

You can also contact her over Facebook or Instagram #carinaeyecare.  

Please make sure that you book an appointment if you plan to visit Carina Eye Care at 40 Neich Parade, Burwood NSW 2134.