This article originally appeared on the VSP Blog.
In many work environments, you’re not allowed to start your day without proper eye protection. With the ever-growing reliance on blue light emitting devices in the workplace, and the sun’s overly generous blue light contribution to outdoor work settings, it might be a good practice to think of blue-light-reducing eyewear in the same regard.
An office setting typically houses the most forms of blue-light-emitting devices. From desktop monitors to smartphones to tablets to overhead LEDs and/or CFLs, it can feel like blue light is lurking around every cubicle and corner in corporate America.
But while desk jockeys are among those at risk of digital eye strain, they’re not the only ones exposed to blue light after punching in. Here’s a look a three other work environments you may be surprised to find are potential hotbeds for blue light exposure:
1. The Shop Floor (Industrial Settings)
While it may not be staring you in the face all day, if you’re working on a shop floor or similar workspace lit by CFL or LED bulbs, you’re getting a daily dose of blue light. Much of today’s modern machinery has also made the shift to LED for distinct improvements in visibility. But while it provides a cleaner, brighter light to guide the hand, it also provides a heftier dose of blue light to affect the eyes.
2. The Great Outdoors (Outdoor Settings)
The sun is actually our biggest source of blue light. Plying one's trade in an outdoor occupation like construction, agriculture, or public service introduces blue light exposure from above. And those who work outdoors while running their business from a phone or tablet (realtor comes to mind) are getting hit from above and below.
3. The OR, ER, and Beyond (Medical Settings)
Anyone who doesn't work in a medical setting, may just envision a sterile, white office and exam table striped with a wax paper protector. But doctors, nurses, and techs are constantly working under and in front of blue light emitters. Modern overhead lighting and equipment are commonly powered by LEDs – and when they’re not in the OR, ER, or exam room, medical professionals are likely charting cases on computers.
What's a worker to do?
So should we all just quite our jobs, buy an underground bunker and stay connected to the outside world via telegraph? That's one option. But it would be easier (and less reclusive) to simply wear a pair of blue-light-reducing lenses to cut back on exposure. There are various blue light lens options available to meet the needs of everyone from Regional Sales Managers to Receptionists to Recycling Engineers.
Reducing blue light exposure at work
TechShield Blue is a great option for anyone who spends two or more hours a day in front of a screen or under an LED. Information technology (IT) specialists, video editors, and writers are just a few examples of people who would benefit from adding this next-generation AR coating to their lenses.
For those who work outdoors, or spend their days going from inside to outside and back again, SunSync Light-Reactive Lenses offer convenience, comfort, and the confidence of targeted blue light filtration. Outdoors, SunSync lenses quickly darken, ramping up the defense against blue light and UV rays from the sun. Indoors, these ultra-responsive lenses quickly return to clear but the blue light defense remains solid.
Are your patients exposed to blue light at work? Download our free, customizable patient questionnaire to find out.
*The Vision Council, Eyes Overexposed: The Digital Device Dilemma,” 2016