Blue Light Hazard- Youth at Greatest Risk

Blue Light Hazard- Youth at Greatest Risk


We are all involved in an experiment right now… and our eyes are the petri dishes!!  Please hear me….our children are at the greatest risk!!   We have no idea what is going to happen to the health of our kid’s eyes as they get older.  I want to shout it from the rooftops the dangers of blue light.  As your community eye care professional… it is my responsibility to educate you about these dangers.  I am starting with our youth, and then in subsequent blogs… I will discuss further the other dangers that blue light poses.  I fear for our children’s future as it relates to their eye health!!


What is blue light?  It is the blue part of the visible light spectrum- between 400 and 500 nanometers.Untitled
The sun is our biggest exposure.  However, now we are exposed to indoor blue light: fluorescent lighting, compact fluorescent lighting, LED lighting and LED screens.  It is an overexposure to blue light that is damaging.  As it is a cumulative lifetime exposure to blue light that causes photo-oxidative retinal damage that leads to Macular Degeneration.  Due to advancements in technology, we are exposed to more blue light today than at any point in human history. We can’t get away from electronic devices… it is not realistic… they are a part of us now…almost like another appendage.


You ask… why are children at more risk?  They have shorter arms (the closer the device- the more intense the energy), larger pupils, and very clear crystalline lenses which allows blue light to enter at full strength.  There is also a protective pigmented layer in the macula that filters blue light (more to come on this later), but it does not start developing until our early 20’s.  Therefore, not only can more blue light get into kid’s eyes, but it can do more damage.


In addition to time spent outdoors, a 2012 study showed that kids age 8-18 years old spent an average of 9 hours on electronic screens held close to their eyes. WoW!!


So…. What can we do about it? I don’t think you will be able to take away your teenager’s Iphone!!  No, I don’t think that’s an option… I have a teenager… I know!!


As of yet, there is only one lens that filters 100% of the harmful blue light.   It is called a BluTech lens.  It is not a tint… it has ocular lens pigment (our natural protection within our eyes) that is infused into the lens.  They are available as an indoor lens and an outdoor lens.  You can get them in prescription or non-prescription, as well as clip-ons to go over your current eyewear.  I do not let my kids use an electronic device without them… and now, they don’t even want to.  They say they can barely stand to look at a LED screen without their BluTech’s on.  In fact, to protect my own eyes, I don’t get on a device without my BluTechs!!

To learn more go to:


In Good Health,


Dr. Kim Walters

Macular Degeneration Awareness Month!

February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month, and it is a very fitting time for me to start writing my own blogs.  For those of you who have been my patient over the years (WoW!!  It has been 18 years since I opened my practice up cold in Weaverville)- you know how important it is here for us as a team at Optix Eye Care, that we educate you about prevention for this devastating disease.


I had the privilege of serving at Mission’s Low Vision Center for 7 years, and that experience drove home for me a passion for prevention.  I saw patient after patient with vision loss and the impact that had on the quality of their life- not to mention how greatly it impacted their family and caregivers.


I believe it is my purpose on this earth to hopefully make a difference in our community to get the word out about the macula and how to keep it healthy for a lifetime.  


My profession is sacred!!  I get to look into people’s eyes and witness a miracle.  I absolutely never get tired of it.  However, every time I look into a person’s eyes and view their maculae, I hold my breath.  I am just waiting to see changes that may already diagnose them with ARMD, or I see precursor signs of the disease.  ARMD is NOT a normal aging process.  It used to be a disease that only affected the elderly.  Unfortunately, I am seeing this disease in younger and younger people.  My youngest is 19 years old!!!  I see it every day and multiple times each day☹


Did you know there is actually a way to tell if you are at risk for developing this disease long before your eye care physician can see precursor signs?  That is my goal… and that is the true heart of preventive medicine… stay tuned for more details on this later….


ARMD is more prevalent than Parkinson’s disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer and Alzheimer’s COMBINED!!  What?!#%!  It is becoming an EPIDEMIC.  How do we respond to an epidemic?  Education and prevention.  That is my gift to you!!!  I am here to serve you and help you know what you can do to protect your precious sight☺


Each week this month I will reveal to you important ways you can make the most impact in protecting your maculae.  I especially want for you to know what a great experiment we are living in right now with the overwhelming addition of blue light that we are exposed to each and every day…. and our kids are at the most risk.  It absolutely frightens me for the future of our kid’s eye health.


Before I go… I truly want to thank my team at Optix Eye Care!!!  I am so grateful for each soul that is in my midst every day.  I also want to thank my patients for their trust in us for taking care of their eyes.  It is the biggest complement when our patients send their family and friends to us.  Thank you!  Thank you! Thank you!


It is my desire to get out in our community and share my expertise in prevention for macular degeneration.  I would love to come to your place of business, school, meeting…. whatever….  If you are interested in learning more, please contact Kristen:


In Good Health!


Dr. Kim Walters