Back to School 2020 is shaping up to be like no other. Some schools won’t be offering an in-school experience for at least a month or two. Others have opened their doors for full attendance, with results that can’t yet be predicted. Still others are opting for a hybrid system where students spend some days learning online and some in class.
The only certain result of all of this is that more kids will be spending more time staring at digital monitors as part of their regular school day. And it’s unlikely that they’ll give up video games and social media in their free time. That means they’ll be exposed to even more indoor blue light than usual.
Digital screens generally emit high amounts of blue light, and it is a significant contributor to digital eye strain. That’s because blue light is intrinsically myopic (it comes to a focus in front of the retina, not on it), and is therefore harder to bring into focus. Too much blue light exposure at night can also make it harder to sleep, because it prevents the brain from manufacturing melatonin. And insomnia makes it even harder than usual to wake kids up in the morning.
GSRx offers two treatments to reduce kids’ (and adults’) exposure to blue light.
epik® BLUE UV Hyper-Protection is an in-mass treatment that provides extended UV protection, absorbs virtually all blue light below 420nm, and provides significant protection up to 450nm. Unlike many blue light treatments, epik® Blue lenses are almost indistinguishable from clear lenses.
PrevaBlue® is an AR coating that selective reflects light in the harmful blue range away from the eye.
Now more than ever, it’s important to talk to every parent of your younger patients about their digital device usage, and remind them of the symptoms it can cause, like headaches, neck and back pain, and tired eyes. Let them know that a reduction in blue light exposure can alleviate symptoms of digital eye strain. It’s also worthwhile to talk to them about the importance of maintaining good ergonomics and posture (another challenge with kids), while using digital devices.
Your back to school season may be even busier this year, with a backlog of younger patients who couldn’t be seen while your office is closed. Be sure to spread the word about blue light control – for your patients’ well-being, and for your practice’s.