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Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

Senior Kaylie Clem uses her blue light filtering glasses as she edits photos on her computer, Jan. 25.

New technology is continually evolving. Taking a look at gizmos and gadgets that peek our interest and make our jobs as photojournalists a little easier and fun. For the first in the series, read Feather tech talk, No. 1.

People are exposed to blue light through the sun, devices and artificial light. Without proper protection, it can cause eye strain and possibly permanent damage. Children who use technology at a young age are at an even greater risk due to defenses in the eye not completely developed yet.

Senior and photojournalist editor Kaylie Clem expresses her opinion about the blue light blocking glasses and the difference made for editing photos on her computer screen.

“I received my blue light filtering glasses for Christmas,” Clem said. “Gillian Rea had told me about them, and the positive effects they had on her eyes. Editing pictures on a laptop, computer for a long period of time gives me headaches, but the glasses are supposed to help with that.

“Unlike my prescription glasses for my stigmatism,” Clem said, “these glasses don’t have a prescription in them. They just have a blue light filtering lens. By wearing these glasses while I edit, I can edit  for longer and my eyes won’t suffer from it.”

Check out Britt Brooks Twitter page to visit her article on ‘You Should Wear Blue Light Filtering Glasses ASAP’.

These newly invented glasses can filter out 50 percent of people’s blue light intake.

Another beneficial addition to wearing the glasses is a better night’s sleep. Looking at devices for too long can affect the amount of sleep people need. Blue-wavelength light decreases melatonin production in the brain. This area in the brain plays a role in how the human body stays awake when the retina is exposed to light and fall asleep when it is dark. The blue light is a stronger light than most light waves and interferes with the melatonin hormone. 

Recent studies have also linked some causes of macular degeneration can come from over exposure to blue light. The light harms the retina in the eye to cause loss of vision in the center of the eye.

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

These lens help prevent harmful blue light entering the retina.

A former photojournalist on The Feather and alumna, Gillian Rea, ’16, sees these glasses as an important part of being able to achieve her work. 

“When I came to college, there was a ton of buzz bout how to keep your eyes healthy when 80% of our day as designers is staring at screens,” Rae said. “In a meeting with one of my graphic designers, I noticed there was a blue glare to her glasses. I asked her if she could tell a difference when she was wearing them or if it was a placebo effect, to which she replied “If you do any work on a laptop, you need to order a pair.”

Previous to owning these glasses, Rae suffered from numerous migraines, but they soon disappeared once she bought them.

“I grew up with horrible, nauseating migraines, and got glasses in high school,” Rae continued. “I started to spend a lot of time staring at screens working as a photojournalist for The Feather, which made the migraines slowly come back. I ordered my first pair of blue light filtering glasses from EyeBuyDirect, and I haven’t had a migraine since the day I started wearing them.”

She recommends this product to everyone who uses a device for long periods of time.

“When I broke them, my migraines came back the next day,” Rae said. “I wear them all day long no matter what I’m doing, but I can tell my eyes strain more when I’m looking at my laptop for more than 20 minutes without them.”

These glasses can be found on multiple web sites including Amazon, Eye Buy Direct and Target. Prices range from $10-$50, depending on the style and quality.

Check out last week’s No. 1 Tech Talk: Portable printer for phones and stay tuned for upcoming Feather tech talks in the next couple of weeks.

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