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Consequences of Blue Light Overexposure - a Patient's Story

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Last year, a 13-year-old boy entered the San Diego practice of Jeffrey Morris, MD, with a strange collection of symptoms. "His mother told us he was constantly rubbing his eyes."

The attending doctor determined the boy didn't have dry eye. "He discovered the patient was constantly on his computer, took his iPad to bed and even had a television in his room," Dr. Morris says. "He also had problems sleeping." BluTech Lenses were prescribed.

BluTech Lenses filter blue light, block UV, most importantly without altering the patient’s color perception using a unique ratio of ocular lens pigment.  The resulting lenses provide the same protection, contrast enhancement, and color perception to the eye as the natural yellow-brown coloration of the human crystalline lens.

Dr. Morris cautions that BluTech is the only brand he’s evaluated that effectively filters out blue light. “Other companies advertise blue-light filtering. But I have testing devices in my office that measure if glasses filter blue light and the other brands I've tested don't.”

After a few weeks of wearing BluTech Lenses, the patient’s mother reported that the glasses had changed his life. “He stopped rubbing his eyes and was now sleeping like a rock,” Dr. Morris adds.

Before technology, humans weren't exposed to blue light at night; the usual source is the sun. Blue light emitted from electronic devices shuts off melatonin production, which can disturb the natural circadian rhythm that induces sleep.

"We can tell people to turn off devices, but that’s unlikely to happen," he says, "An alternative is blue light lenses."

Health ramifications to blue light overexposure are just being explored. "Northwestern University recently published a study showing blue light stimulates appetite, even after eating. Other studies have suggested that melatonin may be protective against cancer, so if you’re shutting down production of melatonin at night, that could correlate with other health issues." Another reason to wear blue light filters, he adds, is that blue light exposure is toxic to the retina and over time can lead to macular degeneration.

Dr. Morris reflects, "Blue light overexposure is a subtle thing, but the health implications are surprisingly broad."

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