DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - Billy Branton started wearing glasses in the second grade. But lately there were health concerns regarding his eyes.
"What started everything off was a daily, consistent headache that just never really wanted to let up regardless of what I did," said Branton.
He said that on any given 9-10 hour work day, he is almost constantly in front of a screen.
"Like most folks, it doesn't really stop when you go home. You've got the TV and you've got the laptop. You have your tablet and you have your phone," Branton said.
Branton's wife suggested he get his eyes checked. He got an eye checkup at Innovative Eye Care.
All of that exposure on the eye, whether it's from a computer or even from a smartphone, can really do damage. That damage can be in the form of macular degeneration or ocular melanoma. But there is a solution - and it is as simple as a pair of glasses.
Dr. Chris Teichmiller is an optometrist who has studied the effects of the "blue light spectrum."
"That spectrum of blue light does damage to the macular pigment in the back of the eye that puts you at risk for macular degeneration," said Dr. Teichmiller.
For Billy, there was an instant effect. "I noticed my eyes felt cooler. I don't feel as tired at the end of the day," he said.
Branton spends more time in rapid-eye movement, or REM, sleep and is better rested each day.
Dr. Teichmiller said there are those people more prone to damage.
"The people that are at risk are people under the age of 18, because they do not have the ocular pigment in their lens to block this. Anyone at high risk for macular degeneration or anyone who has had cataract surgery," he said.
The doctor added it also benefits people who use an electronic device 2 hours before bedtime.
Techmiller says while some insurance companies do pay for the lenses, not all do. Check with your provider. Also, the lenses are only available for glasses right now, not contact lenses.