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Blue light Can Lead to Digital Eye Strain
Every single day, our eyes are in constant contact with light. However, this light is much more complicated than many give it credit for. The most obvious light individuals go out of their way to protect themselves from is sunlight, but your eyes encounter light when using your computer, phone, or even just by walking into a lit room. The light from the sun rays contains dangerous UV rays that can cause lasting damage to your eyes if you do not take the necessary precautions to shield them. However, many people don’t know that sunlight is comprised of a wide range of different-colored light rays that possess different amounts of energy including red, orange, yellow, green, and blue light rays that combine to make white light. Blue light can be especially dangerous to your eye health if you are not careful.
What is Blue Light?
Red light rays have longer wavelengths therefore, less energy. Blue light, also known as high-energy visible (HEV) light, rays have shorter wavelengths which means more energy. They are typically found on opposite ends of the light spectrum. Some light that looks white can contain large components of blue light which expose your eyes to higher amounts of wavelengths from the blue end of the spectrum. Blue light can be found in several areas like:
- Fluorescent light
- Compact fluorescent light bulbs
- LED lights
- Flat screen LED TVs
- Computer monitors
The blue light you are exposed to from screens is much smaller compared to the amount you are exposed to from the sun, but that does not always limit the amount of harm it can do. Long-term exposure to blue light from screens is a concern due to the duration your eyes are exposed to it and the proximity of your eyes to them.
The Pros and Cons of Blue Light
While too much exposure to any form of light rays can be harmful to your eyes, they are not always a bad thing. When it comes to blue light, there are plenty of benefits and dangers of exposure to blue light. While the cornea and lens of the eye are relatively effective when it comes to protecting the eye from UV rays, they do happen to let most of the visible blue light reach the retina. Therefore, it is important to limit the amount of blue light your eye encounters. Here are a few pros and cons of blue light for your eyes:
- Improves Memory and Cognitive Functions
- Improves Mood
- Helps regulate the circadian rhythm.
- Often leads to digital eyestrain or a decrease in contrast. Symptoms include sore or irritated eyes. Fatigue, dry eye, bad lighting, and poor posture can also affect the level of eyestrain.
- Leads to retina damage which in turn can cause age-related macular degeneration.
- Can disrupt the circadian rhythm. Too much exposure of blue light at night can disrupt the wake and sleep cycle and lead to tiredness during the day and trouble sleeping.
While it is true that not all blue light is bad, like all things, it is best experienced in moderation. The greatest source of blue light comes from sunlight. Sunlight is crucial to the growth, development, and health of young children as well as adults, so it would be bad for your health to shield yourself and your child completely from it. But if you are worried about the dangers of blue light, here are a few tips to protect your eyes from their rays:
- Limit screen time
- Wear yellow-tinted computer glasses
- Wear protective sunglasses in the day
- Wear anti-reflective lenses
- Use filters for your mobile devices that decrease the amount of blue light given off
With the increased number of screens our eyes encounter daily, the amount of blue light that hits our eyes also increases. Even though their rays can often help the development and health of your eyes, they can also lead to unwanted dangers. If you have been experiencing eye strain or any vision problems following extended screen use, schedule an appointment with the eye care specialist for an eye exam at First Eye Care North Arlington.