Blue light has always been present outdoors, but evolving lifestyles mean people are spending more time on mobile devices.
WHY CARE ABOUT HARMFUL BLUE LIGHT
Essilor's mission — improving lives by improving sight, is the central tenet of its business. As the leading manufacturer of lenses, it’s a responsibility and a privilege to create products that help preserve and improve sight. This includes advancing products to meet the needs of today’s lifestyle, which includes more exposure than ever to Harmful Blue Light.
For nearly six years, Essilor and the Paris Vision Institute have been researching a range of high-energy visible (blue) light to identify which specific light band widths may be most hazardous to the eyes. These R&D efforts revealed that Blue-Violet light (located between 415 to 455nm) appears to provide no benefit and is potentially harmful to the retina.
At the heart of the matter, our exposure to Harmful Blue Light is increasing. While blue light has always been present outdoors, evolving lifestyles mean people are spending more time indoors or on their electronic devices where they are exposed to artificial light sources which emit blue light. Long term exposure to blue light has been linked to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a serious worldwide problem that is expected to worsen as life expectancies increase. The worldwide AMD population was estimated to be 100 million patients in 2012, and if demographic trends continue at current rates, this number will double in the next 30 years.
THE SOLUTION OF ESSILOR'S SMART BLUE FILTER
Essilor is committed to finding new ways to reduce patients’ exposure to Harmful Blue Light. In 2013, Essilor launched Crizal® Prevencia®, the first no-glare lens to selectively filter Harmful Blue Light while allowing beneficial blue light to pass through. Today, Essilor introduces its Smart Blue Filter™, a feature embedded into the lens that is clear in appearance and works on the principal of absorption, not reflection. Lenses with the Smart Blue Filter™ feature will help reduce patients’ exposure to Harmful Blue Light while transmitting the beneficial blue-turquoise light that is known to regulate the sleep cycle.
Knowing it can take a long time to introduce new products, Essilor has taken the bold step of integrating the Smart Blue Filter™ feature into the blanks used in the production of select Varilux Digital (PAL) and Eyezen+ (enhanced SV) products at no additional cost to the ECP or patient. This means that millions of patients will reduce their exposure to Harmful Blue Light in the first year alone. Additionally, Transitions® brand adaptive lenses also feature this built-in Smart Blue Filter™.
“We’re living in a world where there are fluorescent light bulbs and LED lights in flat screen TVs and electronic mobile devices. Blue light is all around us and most consumers are unaware they are being bathed in Harmful Blue Light,“ says Pete Hanlin, LDO, Director of Technical Marketing, Essilor of America. “By embedding this feature into our premium lenses, we now reduce exposure to Harmful Blue Light for both single vision and progressive lens wearers.”
INCREASING PROTECTION FROM HARMFUL LIGHT
Essilor has also created the Eye Protect System™ to identify those lens products that offer protection from UV and Harmful Blue Light. Within the Eye Protect System, the Smart Blue Filter™ feature may be combined with Crizal® No-Glare lenses to provide additional UV protection. When combined with Crizal® Prevencia®, patients receive the ultimate protection against UV and Harmful Blue Light.
“Many patients are confused about blue light, what it is, and why it is harmful,” continues Hanlin. “With the Smart Blue Filter™ feature and the Eye Protect System, Essilor has provided ECPs with a simple and easy solution to address UV and Harmful Blue Light.”