You may have heard about blue wavelength light, the largest source of which is sunlight. But you can also get exposed to it via your computer screen, smart phones and LED TVs. In many ways, it’s good for your health, but in many ways, it’s also bad for you, especially when it comes to your eyes.
Sunlight is comprised of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet light, with each one having a different energy and wavelength. Reds have longer wavelengths with less energy, while blues have shorter wavelengths with more energy. Light that looks white may have a lot of blue in it, which causes exposure to a higher amount of wavelength to the eyes.
In your daily life, you may be exposed to blue light in the form of:
- Fluorescent lights
- CFL bulbs
- LED lights
- Flat-screen LED TVs
- Computer monitors, smart phones and tablet screens
There is some concern over the long-term effects of screen exposure due to the close proximity of the screens and how long we all spend looking at them each day.
Benefits of Blue Light
Blue light is necessary for good health in many ways. It can:
- Increase level of alertness
- Help with memory and cognitive function.
- Elevate mood.
- Regulate circadian rhythm, your body’s natural wake and sleep cycle. (It’s important to note that too much exposure to blue light late at night can actually disturb the wake and sleep cycle so you may have trouble sleeping or you may suffer from daytime tiredness.)
- Affect the growth and development of the eyes and vision when you have a deficiency in blue light exposure.
How Blue Light Affects the Eyes
Nearly all blue light passes through the cornea and lens to reach the retina, which can affect vision and cause premature aging of the eyes. Research shows too much exposure to blue light can result in:
- Digital eye strain: Blue light from your computer screen can decrease contrast and increase your chances of getting digital eye strain. Other things can also contribute to this, such as dry eyes, poor lighting, or poor posture. Symptoms of eye strain include irritated, sore eyes and problems focusing.
- Retina damage: Continued exposure to blue light can result in damaged retinal cells, spurring vision problems such as age-related macular degeneration.
Protecting Your Eyes From Blue Light
If you are feeling the effects of constant exposure to blue light from your devices, you can take these steps to feel better:
- Decrease how much time you spend in front of screens. Take frequent breaks.
- Use screen filters for your smart phones, tablets, and computer screens, which decrease the amount of blue light given off.
- Use computer glasses with yellow-tinted lenses that can block blue light and increase contrast.
- Use anti-reflective lenses to cut down on glare and increase contrast, blocking blue light in the process.
- Talk to your eye care professional about ways to protect your eyes from blue light.
Contact Simon Eye Associates
If you are concerned about the effects of blue light and are feeling the strain, contact us for an appointment with one of our eye doctors for an exam.