8 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT BLUE LIGHT AND YOUR EYES
There is no escape from using screens in today’s world. Whether phones, tablets, or computers, everyone’s eyes are glued to a device at least part of the day. These screens emit blue light…a frequency of the light spectrum that is all around us: sun, digital devices, LED light bulbs. Blue light wavelengths are shorter than other types of light. The shorter the ray, the higher the energy beaming into our eyes. Blue light is the part of the spectrum that has the most energy of any visible light.
Should we, and how do we, protect our vision from negative effects of this intense light? Here are 8 pieces of information that will help you to understand and respond to the increased presence of blue light in our lives.
1) Can cause damage. It is well known that UV rays (invisible) can cause sunburns and harm eyes. The more visible blue light ray have similar energy to sun UV rays and can also cause visual damage.
2) Serves a good purpose. Blue light has its benefits: it regulates hormones that balance our 24 hour circadian rhythm Seasonal affective disorder is treated with white lights containing amounts of blue light.
3) Deeply absorbed into eyes. The difficulty caused by blue light is that our eyes are not adept at blocking blue light rays. The eyes absorb blue light more deeply than the sun’s UV rays. Blue light can pass beyond the cornea and lens into the more sensitive retina and can trigger detrimental changes.
4) Causes eye strain. Blue light wave lengths make contrast more difficult to see, resulting in increased eye strain when using computers, phones, etc. As a result our eyes become sore and red.
5) Difficult to sleep. Late in the day exposure to blue light can interfere with our sleep patterns. It is a good idea to use blue light filters on any screens at night.
6) Long term damage. Over a period of time, recent studies have indicated that blue light could lead to macular degeneration.
7) A concern for children and adults. Blue light damage is not age specific. Though damage from continuous exposure is more likely to show up at an older age, it is important to remember that our children and teens are staring at screens for most of the day.
8) See your eye doctor for many options. Computer glasses prescribed by your doctor can help reduce exposure to blue light in both prescription and non-prescription glasses. Some eyeglass lens companies have anti-reflective coatings that block blue light from digital and natural sources. Photochromic lenses also protect your eyes from indoor and outdoor sources by getting darker or lighter as needed automatically. Check with your vision care specialist for all the options available.
Our office provides a number of lens choices to protect your eyes from blue light. Make an appointment and our team can help you select the best option for your needs!