Blue light is a color in the visible light spectrum that can be seen by human eyes. The rays on the blue light end of the spectrum are shorter and have higher energy. You may not know it, but blue light is everywhere. It is emitted from the sun as well as many man-made light sources.
Your eyes are exposed to a large amount of blue light if you spend all day at a computer screen, on your phone or watching television.
The first effect you will notice that blue light has on you is its ability to mess with your circadian rhythm. During the day, blue light is great at keeping you awake. However, it does the same at night. Too much screen time before bed can be the reason why you have a hard time falling asleep at night.
Second, you will notice a strain in your eyes and possible headaches when you spend all day looking at a screen. Currently, there is no scientific evidence that blue light from digital devices causes any harm to your eyes. However, extended amounts of screen time can be causing you discomfort.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the best way to prevent your eyes from eye strain is to follow the “20-20-20” rule. For every 20 minutes spent on a device, find an object 20 feet away to look at for 20 seconds. This will give your eyes a much needed break from the screen.
What about blue light glasses? Blue light glasses are becoming quite popular for those spending a lot of time in front of a screen. The glasses can be purchased with or without a prescription in them and are said to relieve eye strain. Currently, there is little science to support these glasses but many people have claimed they are helpful in reducing headaches.
Blue light from outside is much more harmful to your eyes. This is because our eyes are not very good at blocking blue light or protecting us from it. Blue light passes straight through to the retina, which can increase the risk of macular degeneration. Make sure you are wearing sunglasses every time you go outside.
Polarized sunglasses are your best option to absorb the strong HEB rays during the day. Medical Arts Eye Clinic can get you fitted with prescription or nonprescription sunglasses that will protect your eyes from blue light outdoors.
Don’t let the above information bring you to think that blue light is bad. Blue light has some benefits and is needed for good health:
- Blue light boosts alertness and elevates your mood
- It regulates your circadian rhythm when being used properly (exposure during the day and limited screen time at night)
- Helpful for children - a lack of blue light can affect your child’s development of eyes and vision, it can also contribute to increase in nearsightedness
Ways you can protect your eyes
Besides for limiting your screen time at night and taking frequent breaks during the day, there are a few more ways you can help yourself.
Blue light exposed offers a quick online quiz that will help you determine how much blue light you are exposed to each day. They also offer tips on how to protect your vision and have safer screen viewing.
Blue light filters are screen filters available for most computers, tablets and phones. These filters decrease the amount of blue light coming off of our devices, therefore reducing the amount that could reach our retinas.
If you have had eye surgery, you are more susceptible to the harmful effects of blue light. Specifically, if you have cataracts your lens will be replaced with an intraocular lens (IOL) that is meant to protect your eyes from UV rays as well as some blue light.
Anti-reflective glasses are another option when searching for a way to protect your eyes from extra light. These lenses can make it more comfortable for you to look at a screen for a longer period of time while preventing light from reflecting off your glasses.
In conclusion, you don’t have to necessarily worry about blue light harming your eyes if you’re taking the right precautions. Limit your screen time and wear protective eye wear to keep your eyes in good health.
At Medical Arts Eye Clinic & Optical, we understand the importance of comprehensive eye care and your convenience. We aim to provide our patients with the best optical care available, while serving as your one-stop-shop for all eye care needs. We take pride in our commitment to provide top-quality optical care, dependable services and patient satisfaction. We have flexible appointment hours, and we make your visit convenient, prompt and efficient. Our professional services will take care of your entire family. If you are looking to get your eyes checked, be sure to give us a call at 334-821-3838 and book your appointment.