Blue Light Filters For Your Devices

Ever worry about how your computer habits can affect your life? You should, because blue light has been shown to disrupt your sleep cycles, delaying the amount of time it takes for you to fall asleep. Please check out Ontario Association of Optometrist's video Sleepless | Are Screens Keeping You Awake? to learn more. There are a few ways to reduce the amount of blue light exposure from using your devices. You can purchase glasses with an anti-reflective coating that filters the blue light, reducing the amount that reaches your eyes.

In addition to those blue light AR-coating glasses, you can do a few tricks on your PC/Mac, Android, or iOS devices that reduce the emission of blue light. Generally, these will remove blue light from showing on your screen, which leads to softer and yellower light that is easier on your eyes. Below are step-by-step instructions on how to set up a blue light filter for your device:


The best, and easiest solution is a program that you can install called f.lux . This program is great because it is so easy to set up. Based on your location that you enter, f.lux will automatically pick up on when the sun sets and rises to turn on or off the blue light filter.

  1. Download f.lux for PC or for MacOS
  2. Install and follow the prompts needed to complete set up

It's seriously that simple. There are settings where you can adjust the colour of the filters but I don't recommend playing around with it. Also, you can disable the filter for one hour when you need to do colour-sensitive work, such as graphics design, or watching videos. You can access all of this in in the System Tray on Windows:


Mac OS X 10.12.4

I recently learned that Mac OS X 10.12.4 has a native Night Shift filter as well. Make sure your Mac has Sierra OS X 10.12.4 and is one of the following :

  • MacBook (Early 2015 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Mid 2012 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Late 2012 or newer)
  • iMac (Late 2012 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013 or newer)
  • Apple LED Cinema Display
  • Apple Thunderbolt Display
  • LG UltraFine 5K Display
  • LG UltraFine 4K Display
  1. Go to Apple Menu > System Preferences > Displays.
  2. Click on the Night Shift tab 


You can adjust the schedule and colour on this screen. You can also control Night Shift from the notification centre as well:


IPhone/IPad (IOS 9.3)

Please make sure your iPhone/iPad is on iOS 9.3 to use their native feature.


  1. On the home screen, swipe up from the bottom to open the control centre
  2. Tap on the Night Shift Icon on the shortcuts row

This will automatically set your device to turn on Night Shift when the sun sets to when the sun rises.

If you want to customize your Night Shift features, go to Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift. On the same screen, you can schedule a time for Night Shift to turn on automatically and adjust color temperature.


Perhaps this is the trickiest one to do if you aren't tech-savvy, but it is possible and I will walk you through it! You will have several options depending on what version of Android you are running, and whether or not you are rooted. I will give my best recommendation depending on which version you are running.

Android Running 6.0 And Under (No Root):

  1. The easiest way to install a blue light filter would be to use an app called an Twilight, which you can download from the Play Store here
  2. After installing, you can open the app to pause/resume filtering, adjust the colour/intensity/brightness of the filter, and adjust the filtering times to work with your sunrise/sunset location
  3. You can also drag down the notification centre to quickly pause/resume Twilight, and access the settings from there


Android Running 7.0+ (No Root Required):

This is my favourite and current way of filtering blue light because its a feature that is native to the Android operating system. Please make sure you are running Android Nougat (7.0+) to have this work. 

1. Enable the "System UI Tuner" by dragging down the notification tray (swipe down twice fully) and press and hold the little gear icon in the top right corner for settings for 10 seconds until it says "Congrats! System UI Tuner has been added to settings".


2. Head to the Play Store and install Night Mode Enabler from here

3. Run the application and click "Enable Night Mode". It should take you to another screen and then in the System UI Tuner set the slider to "On"


4. From here, you can adjust the time & location settings, tints, and brightness of the filter

Android With Root:

I don't have much to say about this section because only a small portion of the population has a rooted Android phone. As a root user myself, I do have a few recommendations for my tech-savvy readers! My favourite root app for blue light filter is C.F Lumen . This app actually works without root as well, but it does not work as well as when it is in root mode. There's a lot of customization that you play around with in this setting and I don't normally recommend it to the average user unless they wish to explore it. Also, f.lux made an Android app if you wish to try that out as well, but it only works in rooted Android devices.


I hope you found my post helpful in giving you less eyestrain from using devices throughout the day. I am positive that anyone who owns a device with a screen can benefit from having a blue light filter installed

See the original post here


Is Your Lash Growth Serum Causing Lasting Damage?

July 17, 2017

Written by Dr. Leslie O'Dell

What do women want? The results of a 2014 Allergan survey showed 75% of women age 18-65 want longer, thicker and darker eyelashes. It was that kind of overpowering demand from market research that drove Allergan to bring Latisse to market, their blockbuster lash growth serum that shows clinically significant changes to lash length, thickness, and darkness within 16 weeks of use.  The results speak for themselves:


But what is the real price of longer lashes? Latisse has well documented side effect potential. The main active ingredient bimatoprost is a chemical known as a prostaglandin analogue. Prostaglandins are chemical compounds found in naturally within almost all of our body's tissue that are responsible for signaling inflammation within the body. As such, it's no surprise that Latisse has been associated with common symptoms of inflammation around the eyes like swollen lids (also called chemosis), redness, itching, and watering. FDA clinical testing show about 4% of Latisse users experience itching, redness, and watering, while a much lower number experience an allergic reaction causing the eyelids to swell. In addition to chronic irritation, Latisse has also been known to darken the eyelid skin and the color of the iris in people with light brown or hazel eyes, as well as potentially causing a sunken eye appearance by shrinking the layers of orbital fat around the eye socket. 

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Popular beauty blogger Kate of The Small Things Blog shared the dry eye side effects that made her quit Latisse on her blog. via

It's easy to brush off eye irritation as no big deal, but ocular surface dysfunction and chronic dry eye can take a permanent and lasting toll on your vision quality and ocular comfort. Prostaglandin analogues have been used for decades in glaucoma treatment (including bimatoprost - the main active ingredient in Latisse), and studies have confirmed that they are strongly related to lasting dry eye issues.  In fact just under 50% of all patients on prostaglandin analogue eye drops for the treatment of glaucoma also have a diagnosis of clinically significant chronic dry eye disease.  While the preservatives in medications like Latisse or glaucoma drops have historically been blamed as the main culprit in causing dry eye, we know now that prostaglandin analogues in and of themselves can cause significant dry eye disease. 

By promoting inflammation on the ocular surface, prostaglandin analogues can disrupt tear film production and expression at all layers.  This includes the water layer of our tear film expressed by the lacrimal gland and the mucin layer expressed by the goblet cells on the surface of the conjunctiva. Inflammation also promotes thickening of the oil secretions (sebum) expressed by sebaceous glands in our eyelids. The meibomian (sebaceous) glands run vertically through our top and bottom eyelids and are responsible for secreting the top coat oils that hold the water and mucin layers of our tear film onto the surface of the eye.


Every time we blink, the meibomian glands secrete their oil. If that oil is too thick, it's difficult for the eyelids to spread it evenly over the surface of the eye --more like toothpaste than olive oil. It may even get so thick that the oil blocks and backs up in the gland.  This will slowly but surely damage the gland permanently. If the meibomian glands atrophy or die off, the body is not able to repair the tissue and the gland becomes permanently nonfunctional.  The result is irreversible and often severe dry eye. A 2015 study showed a shocking 91.7% of patients treated with prostaglandin analogue drops for glaucoma had meibomian gland disease, versus only 57.7% of patients being treated for glaucoma on a different category of medication.


What's gotten more press than the possible risk of permanent and irreversible dryness and ocular surface damage caused by Latisse or other prostaglandin analogue agents is the financial cost. At around $130 per month, prescription lash growth isn't cheap. Over the counter alternatives have increasingly gained popularity due to this price point, but unfortunately the fact that they are not prescription leads some to falsely feel they must also be safer.  A list of the ingredients of one of the most popular over the counter lash growth serum, Rodan and Fields Lash Boost, shows a not-so-friendly potential dry eye culprit:

Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Keratin, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Biotin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Isopropyl Cloprostenate, Octapeptide-2, Allantoin, Panthenol, Copper Tripeptide-1, Pantethine, Polypeptide-23, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Extract, Glycerin, Sea Water, Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture Extract , Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Fruit Extract, Backhousia Citriodora Leaf Oil, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Rhizobian Gum, Styrene/Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer, Xanthan Gum, PVP, Lecithin, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Alcohol Denat, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide

What is Isopropyl Cloprostenate? It's a synthetic prostaglandin analogue. As such it has the same method of action described above, and yes all the same potential side effect profile.  In fact, the FDA issued a warning to OTC lash serum makers back in 2011 about the potential dangers of including a synthetic version of a prescription product with known FDA-studied side effect profile in their formulations. Statements from companies claiming that they "contain no active medical ingredient" like this from the FAQ for Rodan and Fields Lash Boost makes it all the more confusing for potential patients trying to do their due diligence if they know they have a previous diagnosis of dry eye or are at increased risk. 

The advertising claims that this product is safe, but it contains a synthetic version of the same chemical category (prostaglandin analogues) that have proven dry eye and ocular surface side effects in glaucoma medications.

Here's a list of the most popular OTC lash growth serums using synthetic prostaglandin analogues in their formulas:

  • Xlash Eyelash Enhancer
  • Neulash
  • NeuveauBrow
  • RevitaLash
  • Nutraluxe MD Lash
  • M2 Lashes Eyelash activating serum
  • Peter Thomas Roth Lashes to die for Platinum
  • Rodan and Fields Lash Boost

Take Home: If you have chronic dry eye, or experience any increase in redness, watering, or eye irritation using these products, understand that you may be causing permanent damage to your delicate tear film and ocular surface. Listen to your body and discontinue use immediately if you experience any symptoms. There is a major push within the medical community to have the FDA put stronger regulations on beauty products that are using chemicals with known side effects without disclosing the risks involved, but regulation and oversight may be many years away. Just because a product is over the counter, doesn't mean that it is safe.  Make sure you read the ingredients closely on all cosmetic and facial products that you use, and if you spot Isopropyl Cloprostenate in any product you are using around your eyelid, consider that lasting dry eye issues could result as a side effect.

Want to learn more?  Check out this podcast with Dr. Leslie O'Dell, Dr. Laura Periman, and Amy Gallant Sullivan, the executive director of the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society.