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How I Protect My Patients from Harmful Blue Light

Updated: Jun 25, 2021

Delivering outstanding vision and protecting patients’ eyes is what we’re all about as optometrists. At our practice, that means doing everything we can to ensure that every patient gets the best optics and protection against the effects of blue light.

Our lens supplier, GSRx®, has made reaching that goal easy for us – and we’ve made it easy for our patients.

I have been concerned about my patients’ exposure to high–energy blue light for a long time, for two main reasons. The first is the potential for damage to the macula specifically associated with high-energy blue light.

The other issue is that levels of high-energy visible blue light from digital devices can often be far higher than the eye really needs to be able to see and to read, and it can be fatiguing over a long day of computer work and cell phone use.

We feel that blue light protection is so beneficial and so important that we have made it part of our standard GSRx lens package because we know that it will give our patients the best vision and the best health possible. It’s much easier for the patient if we just include it. It’s not “selling,” because I know we’re not giving them anything they don’t need.

Including blue light protection in every pair of eyewear requires the right product. Our preferred blue light solution is epik™ BLUE from GSRx, which has blue light filtration infused directly into the lens material.

We had been using a similar product from a different company, but the lenses had a noticeable yellow color. It wasn’t very attractive and we got a lot of pushback from patients. epik™ BLUE doesn’t have that issue – it doesn’t detract from the lens’s appearance or function; it’s purely a benefit. That makes it an easy product to include in every patient’s lenses.

When talking to patients about epik™ BLUE, I often use my son, an Air Force fighter pilot, as an example. He’s an emmetrope, but he was having trouble viewing the digital screens he relies on. I recommended plano epik™ BLUE lenses, and now he wears them whenever he’s viewing a screen. I get a lot of positive feedback from patients about epik™ BLUE lenses. I’ve never once had a patient voice regret about getting them. One patient (another plano wearer) even did a radio spot for us – she was very surprised at how much difference it made for her.

If you haven’t implemented a blue light solution in your practice, my advice is simply this: try it yourself. Most of us are working on computers all day. See the difference it makes. It certainly worked for me.

Bradley Schwartz, OD, is co-owner of Oneota Valley Family Eye Care in Decorah, Iowa.

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