Staring at your cellphone. Doing work on your computer. Binge-watching your favorite show on Netflix after a long day at work. Taking a walk outside.
These are all things many people around the world do on a daily basis. And they are all activities that expose us to blue light.
What is Blue Light
Many could say that blue light is bad for you and they wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. However blue light can also be beneficial for a person. It just depends on what kind of blue light it is and the occurrence of the exposure.
Our eyes are sensitive to three colors of light that are picked up by the cells in our eyes. Those colors are red, green and blue. Blue is the shortest wavelength, therefore it has the highest energy. Which is a fancy way of saying it has the most effect on our eyes and our body.
You’re exposed to blue light every day. Our eyes actually have a blue-light filter built into them to prevent too much blue light entering our eyes.
The Effects of Blue Light
Blue light can have positive effects such as when you take a walk outside and are exposed to the sun. It can help regulate our natural sleep-wake cycle, elevate our mood and help memory and cognitive function.
It’s also been found that blue light helps the growth of cells in both the eyes and in the body. It’s especially beneficial for children. Without a good amount of exposure to sunlight children’s eyes and vision can be negatively affected.
However, blue light can be a double-edged sword. Too much exposure from the sun or your devices can damage your eyes over time and too much exposure from screens at night can mess up your sleep schedule.
Beyond the effects that blue light has on people coming from the sun and from daily devices, it hasn’t been studied that much.
But when it comes to your vision and eye health, you want to safeguard it.
Some ways you can protect your eyes from the effects of blue light include:
- Limiting Screen Time: Try to be more aware of how much time you spend in front of screens whether that be your phone, a tablet, or the TV. Although the suppression of melatonin (which is what helps us get sleepy) is good during the day, it can wreak havoc on your sleep schedule at night. Consider reading a book or doing a puzzle or something before bed instead of scrolling through Facebook.
- Considering Screen Filters: There are filters available for smartphones that act as a guard for your phone. They decrease the amount of blue light that reaches the eye. Many phones also offer this feature in the “settings” area of the phone to reduce blue light exposure.
- Wear Sunglasses: Not only can sunglasses protect your eyes from unhealthy levels of blue light and UV rays, but it can also help you see better on sunny days. That way you don’t experience fatigue from squinting so much.
- Consider Computer Glasses: There are glasses specifically made for those who spend most of their time staring at a computer screen. They are yellow-tinted to offset the effect of blue light emitted from the computer screen.
- Watch for eye strain: The most common effect of exposure to blue light on a computer screen is eye strain. This is because people don’t take regular breaks from screen time so their eyes get dry, itchy, and uncomfortable. Make sure you take regular breaks from work or your phone and do something that doesn’t involve a screen.
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Icare USA is here to help professionals with any of their eye care needs. We offer next-generation tonometer and imaging medical devices that will last a lifetime.