When one looks at their average blue light blocking glasses or computer glasses, although they promise to block out all the blue light, we see that most of them can only block up to 50 % of the blue light. At Biohackn, we use advanced lens hacking technology to create eyewear that can block up to 99 %+ of the most harmful visible light component between 400 - 500 nm. We now know that exposure to blue light can cause toxicity in the retina. This degree of damage will depend on the level of retinal irradiance, wavelength, and the total duration of exposure.
This type of phototoxicity-related retinal damage falls into two classes.
Class 1: Occurs after a long period of exposure, which can vary between days to weeks.
Class 2: Occurs after shorter exposure, which varies between minutes to hours; this type of damage is what Oli's is designed to protect you and your loved ones from. As exposure to these high irradiances of light can damage the retinal pigmented epithelium ( RPE). This phenomenon is commonly known as " Blue light Damage."
Blue light damage occurs by causing photoreceptors' cell death in the retina and RPE cells. Our current lifestyles are powered by artificial blue lighting; they are on the streets, phones, in T.V.'s, and hospitals - there is no escape from them. Nevertheless, that should not discourage one from living their best life and enjoying all the experiences that come with it. Hence why putting on Biohackn glasses can be a significant health intervention. We have built different colored lenses that filter and block blue light. We found that the extent of photoreceptor cell loss varies depending on the time the light exposure starts, as our eyes can handle the stress from light in the earlier parts of the day.
Solving Digital eye strain
The high energy frequency of blue light allows its waves to be scattered when they usually enter the eye rather than being focused. Scattered waves cause a " visual noise." At Oils, we reduced the common digital eye strain by limiting the scattered light coming into the retina.
Blue light damages the photoreceptors (rods and cones), which leads to Age-related macular degeneration and Glaucoma. In addition, blue light negatively impacts health by causing age-related macular degeneration by affecting new fragile blood vessels made by the damaged eyes. These vessels are so sensitive to light that they can burst in the back of the eye, increasing further damage.
Moreover, blue light increases free radical production in the retina, which leads to the breakdown of the retinal lining. As free radical production increases, it causes the mitochondria (the energy suppliers of our Body) get damaged and therefore produce less energy in the eyes and the rest of the Body. Blue light also reduces Melanin, which has excellent antioxidant properties that can help protect against eye damage. Extensive staring at a screen also damages the photoreceptors of the eye via flickers. As humans, we are not very good at perceiving flickers from the screen or led light. However, the truth is that these lights are continuously changing their intensity and color, which results in headaches, poor eyesight, brain fog, and the risk of cataracts.
We wanted to target age-related macular degeneration ( AMD ), a significant health problem in the developed world, which accounts for approximately half of all blind people registered. AMD is the most common cause of uncorrectable severe vision loss in people aged 55 years and older in developed countries. AMD is mainly caused due to blue light exposure, as it causes the deterioration of retinal cells, leading to macular degeneration. Taking this a step further, in our research, we found that the cumulative effects of blue light exposure can affect the photosensitive cells in the eyes called Cones. Cones are responsible for central and color vision. In addition, blue light can also weaken specific cells in the eyes, known as the retinal pigment epithelial, accountable for the retina's nourishment.
Due to the wide gap in socio-economic groups and the way wealth and facilities are distributed around the world, we see that some of the cutting edge science around eye health such as surgery, lasers, specialized clinics, and equipment are either not available to or unsuitable to the more significant chunk of the global population.
At Biohackn, we wanted to explore a way of helping people via changing environmental risk factors ( exposure to blue light ) and using Biohackn as an information platform for disease prevention and providing a solution tool. For example, we know that photochemical reactions in the outer retina's oxygen-rich environment often lead to various cytotoxic reactive oxygen species.
One way AMD develops is the generation of oxidative stress via these R.O.S. Exposure to the blue light in our environment and the natural aerobic photoreactivity while decreasing antioxidant activity can result in phototoxicity, leading to Increased AMD progression rates. Blue light suppresses melatonin secretion in the Body. As we explored the mechanism of action by which Melatonin can affect the eyes' health, we started exploring two melatonin receptor subtypes in the retina known as MT1 and MT2. After looking at animal studies, we saw that animals lacking the MT1 receptors increased intraocular pressure.
Intraocular pressure is pressure in the eyes, measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). A regular eye pressure ranges from 10-21Hg and ocular hypertension is a pressure higher than 21 mm Hg. Higher pressure reduces the number of retinal ganglion cells through which blue light passes. Looking at the data, we see that dysfunctional or suppressed melatonin signaling can be a possible risk factor in the pathogenesis of Glaucoma, at least in animal models.
We dived into molecular biology to investigate this further and found that different lights can interact with four mitochondrial protein complexes. Mitochondria are the organelle in each cell that uses the food we eat to make energy, which allows us to do everyday things like breathing. Research shows that our central nervous system and everything that comes with it depends on the energy ( ATP ) generated by these mitochondria. Our eyes are one of the wealthiest and most dense sources of mitochondria in our Body as they require the most amount energy. However, blue light, especially between 400 - 480 nm, which Biohackn glasses are designed to filter and block, can negatively affect the mitochondria and decrease the rate at which they produce energy, and can also create a lot of reactive oxygen species which are not the best for our health and longevity.
That would mean blue light can harm retinal ganglion cells (R.G.C.), naturally abundant in mitochondria, especially not getting any shielding from the macular pigments. Hence, we created Oils to filter out the blue light naturally while protecting the retina's photosensitive parts to reduce potential phototoxicity.