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Most Americans Don’t Know the Sun Produces Blue Light, Survey Finds

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Even fewer people know all the common sources of blue light.

More Americans are growing wary of the risks associated with exposure to UV rays and blue light, but a large majority of people don’t know these types of light share a source, according to a Transitions Optical consumer survey conducted by Wakefield Research.

When asked which types of light are harmful to the eyes long term, most people identify sunlight (76 percent agree) as well as light from digital screens like computers or smartphones (61 percent believe this). Only 4 percent of respondents, however, can correctly identify all common sources of blue light (digital devices and screens, fluorescent lights, incandescent light bulbs and the sun). More specifically, less than one in five (17 percent) know that the sun is a source of harmful blue light, when it’s actually the largest singular source, emitting more than 100 times the intensity of electronic devices and screens.

“Even though discussions around the dangers of harmful blue light are at the public forefront, we are finding that many people are misinformed about the sources of harmful blue light,” says Patience Cook, director, North America marketing, Transitions Optical. “The research suggests that many Americans associate blue light with long-term damage to the eyes. Eyecare professionals should be ready to discuss this topic of concern and recommend products that offer blue light filtering benefits that appeal to today’s modern lifestyle.”

Transitions offers new educational materials intended to provide eyecare professionals with the knowledge they need to educate their peers and patients about harmful blue light. These materials can be found at transitionspro.com/bluelight.

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