How to Quickly Talk to Your Patients About Blue Light

While there is considerable conversation happening around blue light, the reality is that 41 percent of consumers have never heard of blue light*. That being said, presenting and educating patients on blue light and its damaging effects should be a priority for eyecare professionals—even with limited time.
What are the best ways to help patients quickly understand what harmful blue light is and what steps they should take to ensure their eyes are protected?

Start by Asking Questions
Presenting blue light to patients is really an entire team effort. When the optometrist is prescribing lenses, you want patients to already be considering UV and harmful blue light protection.
As soon as a patient enters the office, put UV and harmful blue light protection on their mind. For example, during the registration process, include questions such as, “How do you protect your eyes from the sun?”, “Do you wear prescription sunwear?”, and “How often do you use digital devices?” By asking every patient that walks through the door these simple questions, you’re setting the stage for the blue light discussion in the exam room.

Educate through Comparisons
The best learning is often through analogies and comparisons—and talking to patients about eyecare is no exception. A great way to introduce UV and harmful blue light protection to patients is by comparing it to sunscreen for your eyes. Many patients know the damaging effects the sun’s rays can have on the skin but aren’t aware of how it impacts their eyes. Explain that sunlight includes both ultraviolet and blue light, and that both can have damaging effects.

Outline Sources and Symptoms
According to a survey conducted by Wakefield Research, 57 percent of patients are aware that digital devices are a source of blue light, and only 26 percent are aware the sun is a source. Help patients understand the need for blue light protection both indoors and out.
Communicate that harmful blue light can cause eyestrain and eye fatigue, and long-term exposure to harmful blue light has been linked to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration**.

Recommend a Product Lens Solution
After educating patients about blue light, 78 percent of consumers were likely to purchase a product that provides protection. With the high interest in purchasing glasses that help protect wearers’ eyes from harmful blue light indoors and outdoors, Transitions® lenses are an ideal solution to recommend.
Although all Transitions lenses help protect against harmful blue light, Transitions® XTRActive® lenses offer the highest level of harmful blue light protection indoors and out for a Transitions lens. Transitions XTRActive lenses help filter harmful blue light, blocking at least 34% of the harmful blue light indoors and 88% to 95% of harmful blue light outdoors. To find more information on blue light and to hear how other ODs are bringing up blue light with their patients, visit TransitionsPRO.com/bluelight.

*Online survey conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Transitions Optical, Inc. in December 2017.
** Arnault E., Barrau C., Nanteau C., Gondouin P., Bigot K., Viénot F., Gutman E., Fontaine V., VilletteT., Cohen-Tannoudji D., Sahel J., Picaud S., Second source,  Phototoxic Action Spectrum on a Retinal Pigment Epithelium Model of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Exposed to Sunlight Normalized Conditions, PlosOne 8 (2013), DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.007139
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