The dangers of Blue Light

The dangers of Blue Light

What is Blue Light?

Blue Light is a natural part of visible light and is found everywhere. The Sun is by far the largest source of Blue Light, but it is also submitted by artificial light sources and digital devices.

Why is Blue Light harmful?

Blue Light is rather tricky as it is made up of conflicting components:  Blue Turquoise Light is beneficial and helps regulate our sleep and wake cycle, whereas Blue Violet Light is harmful as affects one’s outer retina, causing retinal cell death.
Our exposure to Blue Light continues to grow as we are increasingly surrounded by artificial light and digital screens:
• Fluorescent light found in workplaces or kitchen lights
• LED light found in our homes and bedroom lamps
• Flat screen LED televisions found everywhere
• Computer monitors, smart phones, and tablet screens
Blue light exposure you receive from screens is small compared to the amount of exposure from the sun.  And yet, there is concern over the long-term effects of screen exposure because of the close proximity of the screens and the length of time spent looking at them, especially the younger generations – it is literally exploding.

How Does Blue Light affect the eyes?

Almost all visible Blue Light passes through the cornea and lens and reaches the retina. This light may affect vision and could prematurely age the eyes. Early research shows that too much exposure to blue light could lead to:|

Digital eyestrain: Blue light from computer screens and digital devices can decrease contrast leading to digital eyestrain. Fatigue, dry eyes, bad lighting, or how you sit in front of the computer can cause eyestrain. Symptoms of eyestrain include sore or irritated eyes and difficulty focusing.
Retina damage:  Continued exposure to blue light over time could lead to damaged retinal cells. This can cause vision problems like age-related macular degeneration (blurred vision due to retina damage).

Blue Light effect on children:
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Children may be at higher risk for blue light retinal damage than adults. The juvenile lens absorbs less short-wavelength light (the good healthy light with low energy) than the adult lens, allowing more blue light (harmful light with high energy) to reach a child’s retina.
As a result, cellular telephone, tablet and personal computer use before bedtime can delay sleep onset, degrade sleep quality and impair alertness the following day. Extended use of these devices has also been shown to cause symptoms of dry eyes, blurred vision and headaches.

What Can You Do to Protect Your Eyes from Blue Light?

If constant exposure to blue light from smart phones, tablets, and computer screens is an issue, there are a few ways to decrease exposure to blue light:

Screen time : Try to decrease the amount of time spent in front of these screens and/or take frequent breaks to give your eyes a rest. Use the 20-20-20 rule of breaking every 20min and focusing on something other than your screen. Limitation of personal electronic device use before bedtime is recommended to be the most effective method for reducing light-induced sleep disruption in children.
Filters: Screen filters are available for smart phones, tablets, and computer screens. They decrease the amount of blue light given off from these devices that could reach the retina in our eyes.
Blue Control Lenses: Protective Blue Control lenses that help filter the harmful Blue Violet Light, while allowing the Blue Turquoise light in can help ease computer digital eye strain by increasing contrast.
Anti-reflective lenses: Anti-reflective lenses reduce glare and increase contrast and also block blue light from the sun and digital devices.

It is important that you protect your eyes for your everyday wellbeing! Make sure you talk to an eye care professional at Spec-Savers about options about ways to protect your family and your eyes from Blue Light.

Date Published: 
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