Blue light, big impact: Why light reactive lenses are a must have

According to a recent survey by VSP, the average American child will have spent almost six years looking at digital devices by the time they reach age 17. 


Many parents are unaware of the effects of blue light on vision. As digital devices become more ubiquitous, it's important to take steps to reduce exposure to blue light. 


We all know that the number one source of harmful blue light is the sun. However, as we spend more time using digital devices, we are increasingly exposed to blue light, which can have adverse effects on our eye health. Let’s explore the impact of blue light on our eyes and the benefits of using photochromic lenses to protect against it.

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Over 60% of Americans suffer from digital eye strain

With the prevalence of smartphones, tablets, TVs, and LED lights, our eyes are exposed to an unprecedented amount of high-energy blue light, which can cause digital eye strain in both adults and children. Blue light is difficult for the human eye to focus on, leading to headaches, tiredness, and blurry vision.


Digital eye strain, otherwise known as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), results from excessive screen use. Its effects are widespread – recent reports show that more than 60 percent of Americans experience symptoms of CVS. Digital eye strain can kick in as quickly as two hours into using your screen.


Our eyes have evolved to process large amounts of natural light. Artificial blue light is a different story. 


Digital eye strain among children and adults


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that:


  • Children aged 8 – 10 spend an average of 6 hours per day viewing screens
  • Kids aged 11 – 14 spend an average of 9 hours per day viewing screens
  • Youths aged 15 – 18 spend an average of 7.5 hours per day viewing screens

This screen time can lead to symptoms of digital eye strain in less than two hours. Studies also show that adults spend 11 hours a day viewing screens. They're paying bills online, and managing their households via apps, and most adults have jobs that require them to spend time on computers. 


How you can help your patients


Many of your patients may not realize their symptoms of DES/CVS arerelated since many symptoms, such as itchy eyes, are easily confused with another cause, like allergies or dry eyes.


Take a few minutes to educate your patients on the impact of digital eye strain and help them diagnose whether or not they are experiencing eye strain symptoms. Continue to recommend the “20-20-20 Rule” and limit unnecessary screen time whenever possible. Another opportunity is offering lenses that can help reduce the stress caused by HEV blue light. 


Photochromic lenses are more than UV protection built into a standard pair of glasses. Photochromic lenses also help attenuate harmful indoor and outdoor blue light. 


The convenience of photochromic lenses


The best way to protect the eyes, eyelids, and skin around the eyes from sun-related damage is to wear quality sunglasses that block 100% UV rays and shield the eyes from blue light. And remember: UV radiation can penetrate clouds, so sunglasses are still necessary on overcast and cloudy days.


Photochromic lenses are the most convenient choice for daily eye protection due to their unique ability to adapt to changing light conditions. These lenses are made with special materials that react to UV light, causing them to darken when exposed to sunlight and lighten when indoors or in low light conditions. Photochromic lenses offer several benefits over traditional lenses, including:


  1. Convenience: With photochromic lenses, switching between glasses and sunglasses is unnecessary as lighting conditions change. 
  2. Eye Protection: Photochromic lenses block 100% of harmful UV rays from the sun, helping to prevent eye damage and reducing the risk of eye-related conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration.
  3. Comfort: Reducing eye strain by adapting to changing light conditions, photochromic lenses provide a more comfortable viewing experience.
  4. Versatility: Photochromic lenses are available in various styles and prescription strengths, making them an excellent choice for anyone looking for a versatile and practical eyewear solution.
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The Sensity® family 


Approximately 66% of patients claim they have severe or moderate light sensitivity. This presents ECPs with the opportunity to address this issue directly.


By actively prescribing photochromics, ECPs can differentiate themselves from the commoditized clear lens market, which is still roughly 80% of lenses sold in the U.S.


As you're talking to your patients about sun damage and UV eye protection, key in on the benefits of the Sensity® family.


Sensity® 2


Your patients need light reactive lens options that perform well in all temperature and UV conditions, with different choices to meet multiple lifestyle needs.


Sensity® 2 light reactive lenses provide a range of solutions for visual comfort and UV protection that is right for every patient. Sensity® 2 provides all day comfort for light sensitive eyes, no matter the climate, season, or lifestyle. 


  • Best balance of fade back speed and darkness for most patients
  • Darkens to a dark category 3 sun tint 
  • Extremely clear indoors
  • 100% UV protection in all light
  • Consistent, cross-climate performance
  • Indoor and outdoor blue light protection 
  • Excellent glare reduction 


Sensity® Dark


Your patients want a light reactive lens option that will darken behind the windshield of their car.


Sensity® Dark is a light reactive lens that provides wearers with darkening in the car (subject to environmental conditions).



  • Best for the most light-sensitive patients
  • Lenses darken behind most car windshields
  • Slight tint indoors for those sensitive to indoor light

Sensity® Fast


Your Patients want a light reactive lens option that fades back to clear quickly indoors.


Sensity® Fast is a light reactive lens that provides wearers with the fastest fade back to clear time available.


  • Ideal for patients who prefer the fastest fade back
  • Darkens to a lighter category 2 sun tint
  • Extremely clear indoors
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Break the photochromic ice


Light-reactive lenses are an excellent option for reducing the risk of eye strain, headaches, and tired eyes. Sensity® lenses are a convenient alternative to switching between glasses and sunglasses without compromising style or comfort.


Spark the conversation by adding specific questions to your intake form to prompt patients to share relevant information about their eye health. For instance, ask about family history of eye problems, the amount of time spent outdoors versus on screens, or the amount of time spent driving. 


Another helpful tip is to request that patients bring their plan or prescription sunglasses with them to their appointment when scheduling or confirming the visit. This can facilitate discussions about sun protection and encourage patients to prioritize their eye health. If they do not bring any sun protection, that is a big opportunity to open up this important conversation.


Educating your patient on the potential adverse effects of blue light on eye health will help them see the need for consistent protection. As an ECP, you can provide them with the steps they should take to protect their eyes. 


If your patients are concerned about their eye health, suggest light-reactive lenses for their glasses. It's a small investment that could greatly impact their well-being and trust in you.


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