It’s undeniable we are exposed to more potentially harmful high-energy visible light, from more sources, than ever before. And research has demonstrated that an association exists between high levels of HEV exposure and permanent damage to the eyes.
The question is: what is the most effective way to protect our eyes from this “new” threat. Despite recent emphasis on the potential harmful effects of HEV light emitted by portable electronic devices and other manmade sources, the greatest source of high energy visible light exposure is natural sunlight. In fact, you would have to spend roughly an entire work day in front of a computer display (and using a smart phone) to be exposed to roughly the same level of HEV radiation as spending 20 minutes outdoors on a sunny day without protective eyewear.
The potential for eye damage and permanent vision loss from HEV light — like that caused by UV radiation — is real. The best way to protect eyes from this threat is to educate consumers about the need to consistently wear quality sunglasses that block both UV and HEV rays when outdoors.
Though HEV-blocking eyeglass lenses and lens treatments may be a valuable supplemental protection for individuals who spend long hours every day looking at computer screens and electronic devices under artificial lighting, the threat from HEV overexposure from man-made sources is several orders of magnitude less than that from natural sunlight.
The best way to protect eyes from the “new” threat of high-energy visible light is shield them from the primary source of this harmful radiation natural sunlight.