Many people have heard of the effects of blue light from digital device screens, but little understand how it can affect your sight. We are here to help you understand what blue light is, when you are exposed to it, and how to protect yourself against it. Improve your vision health by becoming knowledgeable on the details of what blue light is and how to protect yourself.
What Is Blue Light?
Blue light is actually present in more than just digital device screens. Sunlight is composed of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet light. When these colors combine, it forms the white light we commonly see. Each color of light has different energy and wavelengths. Blue light has short wavelengths and more energy than most colors.
When Are You Exposed?
The largest source of blue light you’re exposed to is sunlight. Surprisingly, the amount of blue light you’re exposed to from screens is relatively small compared to the blue light exposure from the sun. However, there is still a concern about the long-term effects of digital screen exposure due to the close proximity of the screens and the length of time spent looking at them. You are exposed to blue light when looking at fluorescent lights, LED lights, flat screen and LED televisions, computer monitors, smartphones, and tablet screens. Additionally, a recent study by the National Eye Institute found that children’s eyes absorb more blue light from digital device screens than adults.
How Does Blue Light Affect Your Eyes?
Almost all the blue light you see passes through the cornea and lens and reaches the retina of your eye. A consequence of this is that this blue light may affect your vision and could even prematurely age the eyes. Too much exposure to blue light can be detrimental to your vision and can even lead to digital eyestrain or retina damage. Symptoms of eyestrain include sore or irritated eyes and difficulty focusing. Similarly, studies suggest that continued exposure to blue light from digital devices over time could lead to damaged retinal cells, leading to vision problems such as age-related macular degeneration.How to Protect Yourself from Blue Light
If you begin to feel symptoms associated with complications from looking at blue light, you might want to begin implementing ways to protect yourself. Here are our tips for ways to decrease your exposure to blue light.
- Screen time – An easy way to decrease the amount of blue light you are exposed to is to decrease screen time. Try reducing the amount of time you look at computer and phones screens and frequently take breaks to give your eyes a rest.
- Computer glasses – Computer glasses can be a helpful tool to decrease blue light exposure. These yellow-tinted lenses block the blue light by increasing contrast to help ease the eye strain when looking at digital device screens.
- Filters – Filters are available for most smartphones, computer screens, and tablets. They help decrease the amount of blue light that could reach the retina in your eyes by decreasing exposure.
It’s important to understand the effect of blue light exposure and how to protect yourself in order to maintain healthy eye care. Talk to an OCVT eye care professional today about ways to protect your family and your eyes from blue light exposure.