Bluelight is essentially a component of the visible light gamut, which addresses what can actually be seen by the human eye. Vibrating within the nanometer range of 380 and 500, blue light has the highest energy and shortest wavelength. Just about one-third of all visible light is viewed as being “blue light” or high-energy visible light. The most noteworthy source of blue light is the sun. Included among the artificial sources of blue light are flat screen LED televisions, compact fluorescent light bulbs, fluorescent light, computer monitors, LEDs and tablet and smart phones screens.
Harmful Health Effects of Blue Light
The eye is not adept at blocking out bluelight, virtually all visible blue light passes through the cornea and lens at the front of the eye. It also extends to the retina, which are the cells that translate light so the brain can process it as images.
Over time, prolonged exposure to bluelight could cause damage to retinal cells that could ultimately result in age-related macular degeneration as well as other types of vision problems. In addition, this could contribute to eye cancer, cataracts and tumors on the clear covering of the white section of the eye.
The National Eye Institute funded a study which has revealed that children are more susceptible to blue light damage compared to adults as their eyes take in more bluelight via digital devices. Being exposed to blue light prior to going to bed could interrupt sleep patterns since it impacts when melatonin is created by our bodies.
Blue light also contributes to digital eye strain. High-energy, short-wavelength bluelight scatters more easily in comparison with other visible light. Digital devices and computer screens emit a ton of blue light and this type of unfocused visual ‘noise’ decreases contrast and can result in to digital eye strain.
In addition, individuals typically blink less when digital devices are being used and this contributes to eye strain and dry eye. Common signs of eye strain also include blurred vision, headaches and shoulder and neck pain. According to the Vision Council, between 27 percent and 35 percent of Americans have stated that they have experienced one of these symptoms following the use of digital devices.
Blue Light Glasses
For individuals who spend a significant amount of time utilizing electronic devices and have noticed digital eye strain, it might be helpful to use blue light glasses. Based on a report from Blue Optical, 80 percent of American adults utilize electronic devices for longer than two hours each day. Approximately 67 percent simultaneously utilize two or more devices and 59 percent have experience indications of digital eye strain. To remedy this, blue light glasses could be beneficial, especially for those who have issues falling asleep.
Reducing the Negative Impact of Blue Light
• Apply blue-light filters to your computer screens, tablet and smartphone. The filters inhibit much of bluelight from the devices from getting to the eyes without impacting the visibility of the display.
• Control glare and lighting on the screen of electronic devices, establish a good posture and working distance for viewing a screen. Ensure that even slight vision issues are corrected properly.
• To lessen digital eye strain you should adhere to the 20-20-20 rule. This involves taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes to look at something that is 20 feet away.
• At your next eye exam, have a discussion with your eye doctor regarding protection from blue light and using digital devices.