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Leading academics probe computer vision syndrome and blue-light lenses at O=MEGA23/WC04

With a recent survey finding that Australians engage in an average of five and a half hours of screen time per day, two University of Melbourne academics will address the hot topic of blue-light filtering lenses and whether they are useful for managing computer vision syndrome (CVS) at the O=MEGA23/WCO4 conference.

Associate Professor Andrew Anderson and Associate Professor Laura Downie, from the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences, will host: ‘Computer vision syndrome: Do blue-light filtering lenses (and other therapies) help?’. They will expand on their 2021 research, published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology, by further examining what is known about blue light-blocking ophthalmic devices and other approaches that have been studied for managing CVS.

Associate Professor Andrew Anderson.

“While our research has shown that spectacle lenses with blue-light blockers represent about one-third of all prescribed glasses, scientific evidence does not support the notion that wearing blue-light blocking lenses is effective in preventing eye strain caused by digital devices,” Anderson said.

According to Anderson, the concerns surrounding excessive screen time and its impact on the eyes arise from the belief that because blue light wavelengths possess higher energy, the threat posed to vision is significant.

“The light emitted by computer screens falls well within safe levels and poses no significant risk to eye health. The most powerful source of blue light we are exposed to on a day-to-day basis is the sun, and so it is important that often over-hyped information about the risks from computer screens does not distract patients from ensuring they take appropriate care in the sun – for example, limiting their exposure and using appropriate sunglasses,” he said.

“Optometrists serve a crucial role in appropriately educating patients in this regard and providing them with spectacles and sunglasses that meet relevant Australian standards.”

Downie noted that a wide variety of different approaches had been studied as possible management strategies for CVS, ranging from different forms of optical aids, through to systemic vitamin supplementation, and even yoga.

“Based on our comprehensive consideration of the best-available research evidence from randomised controlled clinical trials, our 2022 systematic review published in Ophthalmology did not find high-certainty evidence to support the use of any therapy studied to date for treating computer vision syndrome,” Downie said.

Anderson and Downie’s presentation at O=MEGA23/WCO4 will take place on Saturday 9 September in the Eureka room at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre (MCEC) from 9am – 10am.

The biennial O=MEGA event is the optometry industry’s biggest event in the Southern Hemisphere and in 2023, it will combine with the World Congress of Optometry. This partnership will create a unique alignment and rare opportunity to combine a national and international program to showcase the largest optometric event in the region.

For more program information:

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