Posted on September 13th, 2019 in Blog, Eye Health | No Comments »

With the rising popularity of smartphones, tablets and computer screens in our everyday lives, the prevalence of the blue light has increased significantly. According to forbes.com, the average person will spend about 3,500 hours looking at a screen this year. With so much time spent looking at screens, our eyes are constantly being exposed to blue light more than normal. But what is blue light and how does it affect our vision?

How blue light affects sleep

Not all blue light is bad. Blue light occurs naturally in sunlight and is an important part of the sleep-wake cycle. The light within the blue-turquoise range (between 465-495 nm) is important to our vision and our overall health so it is important to be exposed to this range. Our sleep cycle is also referred to as our circadian rhythm, which alerts the brain to when it’s daytime, making us feel less tired and more alert. 

Digital screens and LED and CFL lighting implements also produce high levels of blue light, which can interrupt our circadian rhythm. Our eyes have sensors to detect when it’s daylight out and when it’s not. So, when we are exposed to it at night, our brain is tricked into thinking it’s still daytime which can wreak havoc on our body’s natural cycle. 

woman holding mobile phone while laying on bed at night. exposure to blue light

Digital Eye Strain 

Overexposure to blue light can also put you at risk for digital eye strain. Blue light has shorter wavelengths which tends to scatter, making it harder to focus easily. When we use devices that output high amounts of blue light, our eyes can be strained after a period of time. If you’re experiencing any symptoms like itching eyes, dry eyes, blurred vision, difficulty concentrating or increased light sensitivity you might be experiencing digital eye strain. 

The 20-20-20 rule

If you’re working long hours staring at a digital screen, doctors recommend the 20-20-20 rule to reduce the likeliness of eye strain. Every 20 minutes look away from your screens at something 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. Giving your eyes consistent breaks helps reduce negative side effects of eye strain but also reduces any chances of long term damage to your vision. 

diagram of the 20-20-20 rule for blue light

5 ways to reduce overexposure to blue light

  • Expose yourself to “good” blue light throughout the day. It sounds backward, but getting outside and exposing your eyes to good levels on blue light can help strengthen your circadian rythm. As always, it’s important to wear sunglasses for UV protection. 
  • Adjust your light settings on your digital devices. Most phones and tablets allow you to adjust the amount of blue light they emit. So if you spend a lot of time in front of your smartphone or tablet, consider this easy step to protect your eyes. 
  • Try not to use phones or tablets close to bedtime. We keep mentioning circadian rhythm but trust us, maintaining a natural sleep cycle benefits not only our eyes but our general well-being. We know it’s hard not to scroll in bed for hours, but consider going an hour device-free right before bed. You’ll wake up better rested and ready to take on the day. 
  • Try blue light blocking glasses. Our blue light filtering lenses can help reduce a lot of side effects of digital eye strain. If your job or daily routine have you exposed to digital screens all day, our Kodak power up lenses block the bad light, reduce glare and give a little magnifying boost to help our eyes focus on various screens even easier. 

Blue light blocking glasses can be a great solution for those who have trouble falling asleep, work long hours in front of a screen, or just use your smartphones throughout the day. Prolonged exposure to blue light from digital devices has the power to throw a lot of things out of whack but can also cause permanent damage to your vision.

Young tired businessmsn is touching his eye, taking off the glasses, he is experiencing digital eye strain

It’s time to visit your eye doctor

The best way to stay on top of your eye health is to see an optometrist annually, or as often as your doctor recommends. Not sure if your symptoms are caused by digital eye strain? We can clear things up for you. Schedule an exam today. 

 



Comments are closed.