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Sumeer Singh, Andrew J Anderson, Laura Elizabeth Downie; Optometrists' knowledge and attitudes towards prescribing blue-light blocking ophthalmic devices. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):5494.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The aim of this cross-sectional study was to survey Australian optometrists regarding their attitudes towards, and knowledge of, blue-light blocking lenses designed to attenuate blue light transmission to the eye.
A 29-item survey was distributed at the major national optometry education conference and through professional networks. Respondents provided information regarding their demographics and practice modalities, knowledge about the potential effects of blue light, and attitudes towards prescribing blue-light blocking ophthalmic devices. Ordinal logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the predictive factors for optometrists prescribing blue-light blocking lenses.
Of 372 respondents, 75.3% indicated prescribing blue-light blocking spectacle lenses in their clinical practice. Forty-four percent of optometrists considered daily environmental exposure to blue light as a potential cause of retinal damage, and approximately half of respondents thought blue light emitted from computer screens was an important factor in causing computer vision syndrome. About half of optometrists considered placebo effects to potentially play a role, at least sometimes, in patients’ experiences with blue-light blocking lenses. Most optometrists estimated that they first prescribed a blue-light blocking lens in 2016. The most common reason optometrists prescribed these devices was for patients who were computer or electronic device users (87.9%). The two main sources of information used to guide practitioners’ management approaches were conference presentations and manufacturer product information. Practitioners were significantly more likely to prescribe blue-light blocking lenses if they considered blue light to cause either retinal damage (odds ratio, OR 2.28, 95% CI 1.34 to 3.88, P = 0.002) or computer vision syndrome (OR 2.52, 95% CI 1.41 to 1.51, P = 0.002) compared with practitioners who did not consider such factors to be relevant.
This study highlights the current prescribing trends for blue-light blocking lenses amongst optometrists in Australia. Information from this study will help inform the development of optometric resources to guide evidence-based prescribing of blue-light blocking lens products.
This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.
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