Rome stu­dent shares ben­e­fits of blue-light fil­ter

Rome High se­nior Hud­son Ivery makes a plea to Prin­ci­pal Eric Hol­land to al­low for stu­dents to down­load an app on their Chrome­books to com­bat tech­nol­ogy’s im­pact on our lives.

Rome News-Tribune - - FRONT PAGE - By Spencer Lahr Staff Writer SLahr@RN-T.com

A Rome High se­nior has taken what he learned in class, cou­pled with in­de­pen­dent re­search, to help spread the word about tech­nol­ogy’s im­pact on our eyes, brain and sub­se­quently our health.

Dur­ing a psy­chol­ogy course Hud­son Ivery was tak­ing last year, the teacher showed stu­dents a video about the ef­fect dif­fer­ent types of light have on the brain. Ini­tially, he ad­mits that he blew off the in­for­ma­tion. How­ever, he took a greater in­ter­est in the sub­ject mat­ter when it be­came per­sonal.

“If I go into be­ing an eye sur­geon this would prob­a­bly be why,” he said.

Ivery works a 5-11 p.m. shift at Kroger af­ter school, lead­ing to him do­ing home­work late at night, when the lights in his home are out and he’s star­ing into a com­puter screen for hours. Af­ter get­ting to sleep some­time around 2 a.m., Ivery would wake up for school and strug­gle to open his strained eyes. His eyes were over­re­act­ing to the over-stim­u­lus of light, which can af­fect pro­duc­tiv­ity and fo­cus.

“We are in an age of go­ing be­yond what’s nat­u­ral,” he said.

Ivery’s cir­ca­dian rhythm, which is an in­ter­nal clock reg­u­lat­ing the cy­cle of sleep­ing and wak­ing pe­ri­ods, was thrown off. So he started to dig into so­lu­tions, dis­cov­er­ing the ben­e­fit of hav­ing a blue­light fil­ter, which dims the light, for his Chrome­book and cell­phone. Red light, he said, in­duces the brain to re­lease mela­tonin in prepa­ra­tion for sleep while blue light en­er­gizes.

Once he started reap­ing the ben­e­fits of the fil­ter, which can be down­loaded through phone apps or ex­ten­sions on com­put­ers, he spread the news to his fam­ily.

A cou­ple weeks ago, while sit­ting in class, Ivery de­cided to email Prin­ci­pal Eric Hol­land, so the school sys­tem’s

tech­nol­ogy per­son­nel could open up avail­abil­ity for down­load­ing the fil­ter on the school-is­sued Chrome­books.

To his sur­prise, Hol­land. The prin­ci­pal got in touch with the tech­nol­ogy de­part­ment to al­low stu­dents

to down­load an app for a blue-light fil­ter on their Chrome­books, and a tu­to­rial on in­stalling it was shared on so­cial me­dia.

“He just wants to high­light those kids mak­ing waves,” Ivery said of Hol­land, adding that other ad­min­is­tra­tors could have blown this stu­dent in­quiry aside.

“In this sce­nario, I’m no hero,” he added.

No hero, per­haps, but fel­low stu­dents may be thank­ing him for a bet­ter night’s rest.

Spencer Lahr / Rome News-Tri­bune

Rome High School stu­dent Hud­son Ivery holds his cell­phone with a blue-light fil­ter.

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