Announcement: I will be closed until 13th August for annual leave.

Lighting & Blue Light Filter Advice For Eyes

How have you found moving into your home office due to the COVID pandemic? I've had some lovely patients ask me about lighting, and I just wanted to share with you some simple information to help your eyes feel more comfortable and reduce eye strain.
Do keep in mind that it's important to have good room lighting too, so that your eyes are not continually trying to adjust between the brightness on your screen / desk, then readjusting to the light in the room, and back and forth and back and forth.

Desk Lamp Image

CHOOSING A DESK LAMP

What's important when choosing a desk lamp is to make sure that it:
1. has adjustable lighting
2. does not flicker
3. high quality LED or halogen lightbulb (is not fluoro)
 
One great option is the Daylight Smart Travel Rechargeable Lamp. You can purchase it online here.

SIMPLE TIPS FOR OPTIMISING YOUR LIGHTING SITUATION IN YOUR WORKSPACE

Desktop Image

  • Always have a well-lit room, and well-lit device / book / desk
  • The lighting of your computer / screen / book should be similar to that of the ambient room lighting, otherwise this will cause eye-strain (never read in the dark)
  • Make sure that your lighting is flicker-free
  • The closer a lamp is to your reading material, the more effective it will be. A bright light from the ceiling will be not as effective as a desk lamp from above your shoulder from behind, or a lamp directly onto your book.
  • Read further ergonomic tips by a fantastic world renowned optometrist Dr Jennifer Long here
  • Make sure that the lighting you have is adjustable
  • Check for sources of glare indoors such as reflections from your computer screen from the window, you may need to reposition the angle of your computer screen to reduce reflections from outside
  • Install blinds on windows to block of bright sunlight at certain times of the day
  • Position your workstation / chair at a 90 degree angle from large windows to reduce glare from the sun
  • Replace a single high intensity light fixture with several lower intensity lights instead
  • Adjust your monitor brightness to match the brightness of the area directly behind it
  • Avoid positioning your monitor right under an overhead light
    Cover naked light bulbs with shades to soften and direct light away from your eyes
     
  • Utilise apps such as f.lux to adjust your screen brightness depending on the time of day (https://justgetflux.com/)
  • Use your blue light filter on your phone, or "night mode" when appropriate

BLUE LIGHT

WHAT ABOUT BLUE LIGHT? IS IT HARMFUL?

Despite widespread misinformation, there's no evidence that normal amounts of blue light from excessive screen use harm your eyes. The blue light exposure from devices is much less than what you get from sunlight. Eye strain may result from various factors like taking breaks, blinking more, wearing appropriate glasses, using quality lenses, and managing dryness. An optometrist can assess your needs and recommend solutions such as glasses, eye drops, blink exercises, or a blue filter. Reliable sources from CHOICE and reputable optometrists and ophthalmologists provide further insights on this topic.

WHAT IF I'M A POOR SLEEPER?

In this case, yes. There is evidence that blue light can affect your sleeping patterns. If you are someone that suffers from poor sleep quality, it could be worthwhile considering blue filtering apps on your devices, as well as blue filter anti-reflective coatings on lenses that are prescribed by your optometrist. Please book an appointment to have your eyes comprehensively assessed and I will advise you whether blue filters may be of benefit for your eyes.
 
What if I don't like the blue sheen on the lenses on blue filter glasses? There are alternative lenses that cut out blue light without the blue sheen - just ask me during your visit :)
 
Here's a picture of one my favourite blue filters called 21 Ray made in Taiwan. Click here to see a video of me wearing one of my blue filter prescription glasses demonstrating blink exercises.
Carina Trinh wears glasses

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