SCROLL DOWN

LED street lights affect the eye health of drivers in the UK

17
May
2018

motorway lightsNew LED street lights are being installed across roads in Britain with authorities in London, Cheshire, Gloucestershire and Lancashire already spending millions of pounds on upgrades. However, with the ultimate goal of saving money and reducing emissions, has our eye health been considered? The Public Health England (PHE) have warned of the harmful impact these new street lights could have on our vision and also our sleeping patterns.

The rise of LED lighting

LEDs, formally known as ‘Light-Emitting Diodes’ have become increasingly popular over the past decade and are rapidly replacing old types of lighting. Nearly all of us will come into contact with LED blue light exposure on a daily basis as it is a primary source of our most popular technologies, including:

digital technology

  • Computers
  • Laptops
  • Smartphones
  • House lighting
  • Televisions

The popularity of LEDs has emerged due to them being more environmentally friendly, using less energy and also not containing mercury which has been linked to numerous adverse health effects such as damage to our nervous, digestive and immune systems, as well as our lungs and kidneys.

What are the impacts of LED lights on our health?

Despite the environmental and financial benefits, LEDS also have their downsides, one of them being the negative impact on our eye health. With many of us looking at the blue light emitted from LEDS for long periods of time each day, with the average person picking up their smartphone an average of 85 times per day and most of us using laptops and mobiles at work or in our social time, our eyes are being affected as a result.

The blue light emitted from LEDs is harmful to the cells in our retina, which is extremely worrying as once our retina is damaged it is unable to be repaired by our body’s immune system. In addition, poor retinal health can lead to eye conditions such as macular degeneration and even blindness eventually.

How does the blue light from LED impact our sleep?

LEDs and other artificial light can interrupt sleeping patterns as humans have a biological body clock that works on a 24-hour cycle and works in rhythms based on the amount of light and dark the body is exposed to. This is known as circadian rhythm.
Not only is the artificial light of LEDs disrupting our sleep but also its emission of blue light. Whilst blue light wavelengths boosts attention, mood and reaction times, it also suppresses the body’s production of melatonin, a hormone produces to regulate sleep and wakefulness, more than any other light. It is believed that the shorter wavelengths and the body’s sensitivity to blue light causes this, which as a result has a negative impact on sleep.

What will LED street lights mean for our health?

night driving

Whilst PHE acknowledge that the blue light of these new street lamps will be beneficial for keeping drivers awake, they stress that people will find the light uncomfortable and also warn of the impact it could have on people who are not used to the different frequencies of light emitted.
PHE have warned that these LED street lights will interfere with our natural sleeping patterns and result in a feeling of permanent jet lag. PHE have suggested using LED lights that emit warm coloured light instead.

John O’Hagan, head of the PHE’s Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards states:

“Some people seem to be very sensitive to this light modulation, resulting in headaches migraine and less specific feelings of malaise […]The new lights could make objects appear to jump, rather than move smoothly”

Tips to protect yourself from LED lighting

With the installation of these LED street lights well under way across the country, it is important you are keeping an extra eye on your eye health. These tips below will help protect your vision:

  • Reduce screen time – for many of us it is impossible to remove our exposure to blue light all together. Instead we can reduce the amount we are exposed to, particular before bed where you should avoid all technological devices 60 minutes prior to you going to sleep
  • Download free apps that can lower the amount of blue light emitted to your phone – with children being born into a world of iPad’s, Xbox’s, and smartphone you can’t cut out blue light entirely, but rather protect their vision with these free apps
  • Physical screen filters can reduce blue light exposure too – these protective screens can alter the wavelength of light being produced
  • Eat foods full of Vitamin A – this is important for essential eye health and can be found in peppers and spinach. Spinach also has large amounts of astaxanthin which reduces retinal cell death
  • Wear some protective lenses to neutralize blue light – amber coloured lenses are the most effective for this

Source

World Health Organization

Natural Eye Care

Live Science

By: David

If you are interested in vision correction at Focus Clinic please call us on 0207 307 8250 and book a free consultation.

Book your FREE consultation
Related Articles
  • what is Blepharitis

    What is Blepharitis?

    Blepharitis becomes especially important when we are looking to perform laser eye surgery, e.g. Z-LASIK. Blepharitis is linked with dryness of the eyes and should be treated before having vision correction, to increase the moisture over the cornea (which does temporarily become drier after treatment). This LASIK post-op dryness recovers within 3-6 months, and is […]

    Learn more
  • tetris improves vision

    TETRIS improves vision?

    Many people believe that computer games can be detrimental to your vision, but surprisingly the addictive puzzle game Tetris can help to improve Amblyopia, commonly known as ‘Lazy Eye’. Amblyopia occurs when the nerves that connect one of the eyes to the brain develop incorrectly as a child. As a result, blurry or wrong images […]

    Learn more
  • 1920--1200

    What happens if I blink during laser eye surgery?

    The idea of having laser surgery can be a frightening thought. One of the most common concerns that we hear is whether you will be able to keep your eyes open for long enough, and then what happens if you blink? We would like to take this time to give you some reassurance. We all […]

    Learn more
  • how to accentuate your eye colour

    How to accentuate your eye colour after laser eye surgery

    People choose to have laser eye surgery for a variety of different reasons. To avoid the hassle of glasses and contact lenses, to gain freedom to fully enjoy sporting pursuits or to simply gain a confidence boost. Whatever your motivation, you will probably find that you will be showing off your beautiful eyes for the very […]

    Learn more
  • aged 18-30 and need glasses for driving?

    Age 18 to 30 with driving glasses

    More and more people age 18-30 are being prescribed glasses, from the use of technology gadgets, computers and for driving. The most common reason for those age 18-30 and need glasses for driving and other distance vision problems, or who wear glasses full time is: Myopia, also known as short-sight You may also have astigmatism, […]

    Learn more
  • young people long-sightedness

    Age 18-30 and reading glasses

    The most common reason for vision issues for people from 18-30, who need glasses for reading (and who may wear glasses full time) is: Hyperopia, also known as long-sight / longsighted You may also have astigmatism, either alone or combined with long-sight How does hyperopia/long-sightedness develop? According to the National Eye Institute, hyperopia develops in […]

    Learn more
  • Does LASIK wear off?

    Does LASIK wear off?

    Does LASIK wear off? What do we know about long-term effects of LASIK? It’s been around 25 years – is that really enough time to discern long-term effects? Yes, it would appear so. There are rare changes that have been observed up to 2 years after treatment (and which are treatable), otherwise we haven’t seen any other effects, […]

    Learn more
  • pros and cons of laser eye surgery

    Pros and cons of laser eye surgery

    Pros and cons of laser eye surgery Despite the procedure being more than 25 years old, laser eye surgery is still regarded as a relatively new operation. The pros and cons of laser eye surgery can help a prospective patient decide if vision correction is right for them. Benefits and risks of vision correction It […]

    Learn more
  • common habits that damage your eyes

    Common Habits That Can Damage Your Eyes

    "Don't sit so close to the television...you'll ruin your eyes!" Pretty much all of us will have had this shouted at us as kids! And to be fair to our concerned parents, there used to be some truth in the saying!

    Learn more
  • high cholesterol

    High cholesterol: Did you know it can damage your vision?

    Most people are aware that high cholesterol causes health issues, but many aren’t aware of the impact high cholesterol can have on your vision.

    Learn more
  • prescription

    Prescription Drugs: What ones are damaging your eyes?

    What prescription drugs could be harming our vision? For many years there has been speculation over the side effects of major drugs around the world. Whilst adverse reactions to medical prescription are rare, they can and do appear for some of us, especially when drugs are taken for extended periods of time. The below common […]

    Learn more
  • the 30 most iconic sunglasses of all time

    The 30 Most Iconic Sunglasses of All Time

    Monday the 27th June is National Sunglasses day, so we thought we'd take a look back at the most iconic sunglasses (and their wearers)!

    Learn more
  • tp-1

    Focus Clinic Awarded Top Spot for “Top Rated Eye Treatment Companies” on Trustpilot

    At FOCUS, we’re really proud to announce that we have been awarded the ‘best in category’ badge by Trustpilot: the respected and independent review company.

    Learn more
  • 15 foods that can improve your eye health

    15 Foods That Can Improve Your Eye Health

    Did you know eating certain foods can actually improve your eyesight, slow down aging of your eyes and keep your eyes in good health?

    Learn more
  • Toxins in medicine can save your life

    From poison to potions: the toxins used in medicine that could save your life…

    Worldwide, the prevalence of myopia has been rising dramatically, and it is estimated that 2.5 billion people will be affected by myopia by 2020, but a new study offers sufferers hope. News research reveals that atropine, a toxic substance derived from deadly nightshade, can be an effective and sustainable treatment for progressive high myopia in […]

    Learn more
  • children need regular eye tests

    When should a child first go to an eye doctor/ optician?

    Getting your child’s eyes checked regularly is essential for spotting issues that are treatable when caught early. Good vision is really important to children as so much of what they learn is taken in through their eyes, and their vision helps them find out about the world around them.

    Learn more
  • child-allergies

    Eye Allergies to look out for in Children

    Children who suffer from allergies will often have symptoms such as sneezing, sniffling and nasal congestion - but if you find that their eyes are red, itchy, and swollen, there’s a good chance they might be suffering from an eye allergy too.

    Learn more
  • spot potential sight issues

    How to spot potential sight issues in Children

    Most children won’t have any idea that they have a vision problem, so it’s up to us to be vigilant when it comes to noticing signs of potential trouble.

    Learn more
  • Warning Signs of Vision Loss in Children

    Warning Signs of Vision Loss in Children

    It’s Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month (August) and the World Health Organisation has found that 19 million children in the world are visually impaired. Of this amount, 12 million are visually impaired due to refractive errors which can be easily diagnosed and corrected through a routine eye examination. Do you know how to spot the warning […]

    Learn more
  • Astigmatism In Children

    Astigmatism in children: what are the warning signs?

    Astigmatism is a common condition where the cornea or lens of the eye isn’t a perfect curve, causing blurred or distorted vision. Like nearsightedness and farsightedness, astigmatism is a refractive error, meaning it’s not an eye disease or eye health problem - it’s simply a problem with how the eye focuses on light.

    Learn more
  • Is your child at risk of Myopia?

    Is your child at risk of myopia?

    Many children aren’t aware they have a vision problem and will generally try to adapt, without knowing they could see better – as a parent, you’re the best person to help find the signs. Myopia, or short-sightedness, is a very common eye condition in children that causes distant objects to appear blurred, while close objects […]

    Learn more
  • how to accentuate your eye colour

    Revealed: common causes of eye twitches

    Eye twitching is pretty common. A twitch usually occurs in the upper lid, but it can occur in both the upper and lower lids. For most people, eye twitches are harmless and will just come and go, but for others, eye twitches can last for weeks or even months and that’s when an eye twitch […]

    Learn more
  • floaters

    What are eye floaters & are they a concern?

    Most of us have seen strange shapes floating in our vision from time to time and those tiny spots, specks and flecks that drift aimlessly around our field of vision are otherwise known as floaters. What are floaters? Floaters are caused by small piece of debris that float in the vitreous humour of the eye. […]

    Learn more
  • myopia epidemic

    The Myopia Epidemic Across The World: Which countries suffer the most and least?

    Over 80 million children are affected by the myopia epidemic and the economic cost is estimated at an annual $268 billion worldwide. What is myopia? Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a refractive error in your eye.  This means that the eye does not refract light properly to a single focus, which enabled you to […]

    Learn more
  • world sight day

    World Sight Day 2016

    285 million people are blind or visually impaired – 80% of those don’t have to be. This day is dedicated to raising global awareness for blindness and visual impairment. Held every year, on the second Thursday of October, World Sight Day is an annual day of awareness to focus global attention on blindness and vision […]

    Learn more
  • The Principle Causes of Blindness

    The Principle Causes of Blindness Worldwide

    Worldwide, over 285 million people are estimated to be visually impaired: 39 million are blind and 246 million have low vision. About 90% of the world’s visually impaired live in low-income settings and 82% of people living with blindness are aged 50 and above. So what can cause Blindness? Multiple afflictions can affect the same […]

    Learn more
  • Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness

    Glaucoma: A Leading Cause of Blindness

    Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness throughout the world, especially in older people, with estimates of suspected cases at over 60 million worldwide. What is glaucoma? Glaucoma is an eye condition where the optic nerve, which connects your eye to your brain, becomes damaged, usually as a result of an increased pressure […]

    Learn more
  • What Is Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    What is age-related macular degeneration?

    If you’ve been diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration, you’re not alone. In the UK, over 600,000 people are affected with the condition, and is one of the leading causes of severe vision loss in people over 60. You may not notice any change in your vision during the early stages, especially if you have AMD […]

    Learn more
  • Laser eye surgery machine

    What kind of laser eye surgery is right for you?

    Until contact lenses were made popular in the 1950’s, the only way to correct vision problems was to wear glasses. Fast forward to 2016 and there is an abundance of different approaches to correct vision, from reshaping the cornea in laser eye surgery procedures such as LASIK and PRK, to refractive lens exchange surgery. So […]

    Learn more
  • superfood can stop you going blind

    The secret superfood that could stop you going blind

    We are a nation of coffee drinkers. In fact, in the UK alone we drink approximately 55 million cups of coffee every day. Thousands of studies have looked at coffee use in the past few decades and lately, more and more are reporting the real health benefits for coffee drinkers, from helping prevent diabetes, to […]

    Learn more
Get in touch
Thank you for getting in touch with Focus. Your message is on its way and one of our friendly team will be in touch shortly!
Reviews

Roger

16th Jun

reviewsListing-roger

'I wanted the best and believe I got it'

close
close
big close

Book a free* consultation

Would you rather speak to someone?

*Opening Times:
Monday - Friday: 9am – 6pm Saturday: 9am – 3pm

Would you rather speak to someone?

Call: 0207 307 8250

to arrange your free* consultation
There is a refundable admin fee of £25 for consultations during the week and £50 for consultations in the weekend. This will be returned to you when you attend the appointment.
Mr Samer Hamada
laser and lens eye surgery specialist
 Samar Hamada