Posted on Nov 06, 2020, 3 p.m.
The modern world is in a revolutionary digital age that has never been witnessed before. People spend several hours working on computers and their smartphones or tablets are never far out of reach. Taking breaks from work often means scrolling endlessly through social media. Even after working hours, the idea of relaxing for a lot of people involves sitting on a couch and catching up with their favourite programme on Netflix. Consequently, eye problems are on the rise because of the intense blue light exposure from all these devices.
How does blue light cause problems to your eyes and most importantly, what can you do about it? Stick around and you’ll find comprehensive answers to your questions.
Blue Light Explained
Blue light is found on the visible light spectrum between the wavelengths 380 and 470 nanometres. The spectrum is made up of coloured light rays that combine to make up the light that you see from digital devices and other light sources like the sun. Blue light is commonly used to light up screens and in LED bulbs because it is energy-saving and it offers a superior display. However, it emits more energy than other coloured visible light rays like red, orange, and yellow so it’s harmful to your eyes after prolonged exposure. It also affects other aspects of your physical and mental health.
How Blue Light Poses a Danger to Your Eyes
People who work in offices spend an estimated 1700 hours a year in front of a computer! This can lead to temporary irritation of your eyes or serious conditions that may permanently damage your eyes. The cornea is the outer layer of your eye that controls the light entering the eye by bending or refracting it. Since blue light has high energy, the cornea cannot block it from passing through the eye and getting to the innermost part, the retina. Here, it wreaks havoc and causes eye conditions like:
The retina has photoreceptors that are very sensitive to light, particularly blue light so that they can send messages to the brain to control the sleep-wake cycle. When your eye is exposed to too much blue light over a long time, an important protein cell membrane is distorted so oxidative damage occurs in the retina’s cells. This leads to blurry vision and at times, permanent blindness. The damage of retinal cells is a condition known as macular degeneration. It’s associated with old age because of all the blue light a person is exposed to over the course of their life. Too much exposure to artificial blue light accelerates the development of the condition much earlier in life.
Digital Eye Strain
Digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome is an eye condition where your eyes experience discomfort because of using screens for too long. Its symptoms include blurry vision, headaches, red, tired, and irritated eyes. Digital eye strain is caused by the intensity of blue light from screens or staring at a screen for a long time without taking a break. The eye muscles become strained and make it difficult for you to focus.
Cataracts occur when the lens of the eyes become opaque or clouded so vision is blurred. The condition occurs when the cells in the lens experience oxidative damage. The oxidative damage can occur due to overexposure to blue light from digital devices.
What Can You Do?
First and foremost, one of the most foolproof ways of reducing blue light eye damage is by cutting down on screen time. Keep your screen time to the absolute necessities like work or school. Take frequent breaks in between to avoid blue light overexposure and eye strain.
Reducing screen time may not be a realistic option for you if you have a demanding job that requires you to be glued to your screen throughout the day and sometimes, at night. Other alternatives exist that you can adopt:
Blue Light Apps
Blue light filtering applications are pre-installed in most modern devices. They can be turned on and off to reduce the amount of blue light from the display. They give your screen an amber hue that may distort images and text.
Blue Light Screen Protectors
Blue light screen protectors are simply barriers you can place on your computer, smartphone, or tablet screens to block harmful blue light from getting to your eyes and damaging them. The advantage with screen protectors is that they are clear so they don’t interfere with the clarity of your display. They also double up as protection against mechanical damages that leave your screen looking unsightly.
Blue Light-Blocking Glasses
They are also known as computer glasses and they have special lenses that block blue light from damaging your eyes. They can be amber-coloured or clear depending on whether you plan to block all or partial blue light.
Seeing clearly or seeing at all is a privilege you may take for granted until it’s taken away from you. Don’t wait till that happens; protect your eyes from blue light!
This article was written by Harry at Oushield where they believe that your eyes are everything and they need taking care of. When eyes are healthy you sleep better, feel better, and get more done. But with so many backlit screens and devices, our eyes are under more strain than in the past, and they need help to keep up. Oi, nice eyes, keep them nice, protect them.
This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.