Blue light is everywhere, originally mainly in sunlight. This is nothing new. What has changed is our way of life. In short, we have gone from darkness to light within a few decades. Consider the changes to our habitat, where living spaces are now facing south and have large windows, whereas our elders tended to protect themselves from the sun; then there is extensive exposure of our bodies to sunlight in Western countries where garments are lighter and leisure is geared toward the sun (sea, mountains, ski, etc.). But that’s not all. Two major technologies have emerged in recent years that have contributed to blue light over-exposure: LED lamps and the last generations of screens. At the same time, the elderly are now suffering from age-related macular degeneration (AMD) on a large scale, and the use of screens by all of us, especially the younger generations, is literally exploding. These changes are now giving rise to fears of potentially associated health dangers, and an increasing number of questions.
Article from the magazine "Point de vue"
A round table discussion held in January 2016 – chaired by Professor John Marshall with a panel of experts representing research, ophthalmology, academia and retail optometry – set out to determine the extent to which blue light is a hazard to the human eye and to establish whether it is implicated in disease such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Discussions included the availability of existing research and the likelihood of future studies being conducted, which will help support the increasing body of evidence that blue light is a concern for eye health. They concluded by suggesting how this potential risk should be discussed in the practice environment.
Macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts play a major role in the United States health care system and global effort directed to the prevention of these conditions now is part of optometry initiatives. To benefit society both from a financial and a productivity perspective, optometrists focus on four areas in clinical practice: protective lenses, nutraceuticals, genetic testing and periodic examinations.
Light is suspected of being a risk factor for major vision-threatening diseases. Yet an equal light exposure can unequally affect people. Multiple intricate factors are responsible for a distinct personal risk profile. The scientific quest in understanding both eye phototoxicity and individual risk profiles can set a turning point towards personalized prevention in the future.
AMD is the leading cause of legal blindness in industrialized countries. It has two forms, atrophic and exudative, and a multifactorial pathogenesis. To cope with the ever-increasing incidence of AMD, retinal specialists resort to three strategies: primary prevention, patient management in clinical practice and prospective medical research aimed at finding new therapies.
Light-induced ocular damage has been investigated for decades in laboratory extensive work and several epidemiological studies. More recently, harmful effects of blue-violet light have been spotlighted by growing body of scientific research. Despite the eye’s natural defense mechanisms, it has been evidenced that cumulative exposure to blue-violet light can contribute to long-term irreversible changes in the retina. When the most critical exposure occurs in outdoor conditions, Transitions® lenses can effectively filter harmful blue-violet light and consequently provide optimal photo-protection for the patient eyes.