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Optometry Australia takes lead on blue light debate

10/04/2019By Myles Hume
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Optometry Australia (OA) will establish a position statement and guidance for optometrists on blue light-filtering lenses to help clarify the uncertainties that currently surround their effectiveness.

The organisation is working with experts to analyse the latest evidence, and plans to develop a public information sheet and advice for members. OA expects to publish its recommendations mid-year.

Segments of the eyecare sector have raised doubts over the effectiveness and necessity of lenses with blue light protection; a problem some say has been exacerbated by mainstream media coverage while overshadowing the issue of ultraviolet light risk.



“We have been following developments in this field – along with use of blue light blocking intraocular lenses – with interest as it is an emerging area with significant amounts of research being conducted in the field,”
Dr Luke Arundel, OA

Although a number of studies state the level of blue light emitted from electronic devices is below the threshold that would cause damage – and much lower than what is emitted from the sun – lens manufacturers and some optometrists argue such lenses can alleviate eyestrain, reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and help maintain healthy sleeping patterns.

Usually offered at an extra cost to the patients, manufacturers typically claim the lenses attenuate blue light in the range from 390 to 440nm – without compromising the positive properties of blue light in the range from 450 to 500nm.

Following an increase in inquiries from the public, optometrists and the media, OA will address a blanket recommendation for the use of blue light-filtering lenses in the general population, and clarify the advertised benefits, including in at-risk AMD patients.

“We have been following developments in this field – along with use of blue light blocking intraocular lenses – with interest as it is an emerging area with significant amounts of research being conducted in the field,” OA chief clinical officer and optometrist Mr Luke Arundel said.

 

More reading:

Survey: Australians lack awareness of UV risk to eye health
The many uses of occupational lenses

 






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