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.
If you’re unfamiliar with blue light, it’s the range of light with the highest amount of energy in the visible light spectrum (the light we can see). Modern devices like smartphones, tablets, computer monitors, televisions, LED and CFL lighting all emit blue light. Exposure to this high-energy light has been linked to digital eye strain in as little as two hours of exposure.*
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:
The Shop Floor (Industrial Settings) – While it’s not staring you in the face all day, if you’re working on a shop floor or similar workspace that’s 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 from incandescent lighting to LED for distinct improvements in visibility. But while it provides a cleaner, brighter light to guide your hand, it also provides a heftier dose of blue light to affect your eyes.
The Great Outdoors (Outdoor Settings) – Plying your trade in an outdoor occupation like construction, agriculture, or public service introduces blue light exposure from the sun. The sun is actually the biggest producer of blue light on the planet. And if you’re in an occupation like real estate where you’re working outdoors for extended periods while also running your business from your phone, you’re getting hit from above and below.
The OR, ER, and Beyond (Medical Settings) – For those who don’t work in a medical setting, you might 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 powered by LEDs – and when they’re not in the OR, ER, or exam room, medical professionals are likely charting cases on computers.
So should you quit your job, buy an underground bunker and stay connected to the outside world via telegraph? You could, but you don’t have to. There are various optical solutions designed specifically to reduce your exposure to high-energy blue light whether you’re a Regional Sales Manager, a Receptionist, or a Recycling Engineer.
How to Reduce Your Blue Light Exposure at Work
TechShield Blue is a next-generation anti-reflective coating that absorbs and reflects the specific blue light wavelengths associated with digital eye strain. This near-clear coating is a great choice if you spend two or more hours a day in front of a screen or under an LED.
If you work outdoors, or spend your 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.
Talk to your VSP eye doctor today about reducing your blue light exposure at work, home, and everywhere in between.
*The Vision Council, Eyes Overexposed: The Digital Device Dilemma,” 2016
This is a guest post from VSP Global employee, Paul J.