Blue light flashing for Aussie screen time obsession


Australians are being encouraged to take stock of their internet use and the associated strain on their eyes and sleep patterns amidst new research that revealed we are online for an average of 6.8 hours a day[1] using various blue light emitting devices.

While much of this usage cannot be avoided for office workers and students, the side effects of excessive blue light exposure can include headaches, dizziness, fatigue and insomnia which can also have negative flow-on effects on people’s mental health[1].

Bupa Optical Optometrist, Karen Makin said there are all kinds of short-wavelength light, however blue light is the strongest.

“Blue light hits our retinas all the way at the back of our eyes, suppressing the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that influences circadian rhythms, effectively telling the body it’s daytime and that we should be wide awake.

“This may be fine when the day’s getting started, but not so much when it’s hitting your eyes for hours on end or when it’s time for bed,” Karen said.

These issues have resulted in a spike in the number of people purchasing blue light glasses, with demand growing yearly[2] and accelerating in recent times as remote working and digital communication have increased following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If you find yourself looking at devices within 2-3 hours before bed or experience discomfort working in front of a screen all day, speak to an optometrist as to whether you should add blue light filters to their standard prescription or purchase non-prescription blue light lenses if you otherwise have good eyesight.

“It’s worth remembering that blue light glasses aren’t designed to be worn all the time as getting your dose of natural blue light from the sun is normal and healthy. We often recommend blue light glasses as a second pair for when people are working or scrolling on their phone for extended periods of time… think of them as sunglasses for technology,” Karen said.

Those with private health insurance may be able to claim on prescription blue light lenses with their eligible Extras cover[3].

To purchase frames with blue light filters or to book an eye test at a Bupa Optical store near you visit here.

[1] https://www.mhanational.org/blog/how-blue-light-affects-mental-health
[2] https://www.marketgrowthreports.com/global-blue-light-blocking-glasses-market-15043072
[3] Level of cover and rebate will differ depending on your policies’ cover and limits