Most people now a days has some sort of mobile device that they use daily and or a flat screen TV. Our lives tend to revolve around the use of these devices and most adults are spending two plus hours on these daily. Our eyes are exposed to large amounts of blue light when using these devices and can cause damage in the long run. How often are you exposed to blue light and do you know the effects that it has on your health?
What is Blue Light?
First, let’s discuss what blue light is. Blue light is a naturally occurring form of light that is artificially by digital screens. Blue rays have a very short wavelength and produces a higher amount of energy. Rays on the red end of the visible light spectrum have longer wavelengths and produce less energy. Sunlight is the main source of blue light; the biggest exposure is during the daytime similar to when our bodies are exposed to UV Ray (hours 10 -2). Many other man-made sources come from fluorescent lighting, LED lights, mobile devices and flat-screen televisions.
The eye is not very good at blocking out blue light, especially in children. A child’s crystalline lens is more transparent than adults. Therefore, they are more sensitive to blue light. Most blue light passes through the cornea and lens and the amount of hours exposed is what really affects the eyes.
The Effects of Blue Light
We all are exposed to blue light from the sun and also our mobile devices, but what is it doing to our health and vision? Let’s take a look at the effects that too much exposure can do.
Macular Degeneration. Too much exposure can damage light sensitive cells in our retinas. These changes can resemble those of macular degeneration. This disease can lead to vision loss later in life.
Cataracts. By the time we are in our 20’s our eyes have formed crystalline lens that yellow in time. The yellow shields as a filter to protect your eyes against blue lights, but not all. Too much blue light absorption can lead to cataract formation.
Digital Eyestrain. Blue light eliminates from many devices such as computers, televisions, mobile devices and can cause your eyes to experience strain. As more people spend countless hours on these devices, their eyes suffer in the long run. Digital eyestrain can cause red, dry or irritated eyes, blurred vision, fatigue, headaches, back, neck and shoulder pain.
Lack of Sleep. Blue light can help boost mood, memory and alertness. Therefore, it is important to regulate this at nighttime. Too much blue light can keep you awake and feel restless. This can cause you to have difficulty falling asleep and cause daytime fatigue.
What Can You Do To Decrease These Effects
You can control the amount of blue light exposure to a degree. Here are a few tips to help decrease your exposure:
- Avoid using these mobile devices 2 t0 3 hours before you head to bed.
- Do not spend countless hours in the sun during peak hours.
- Limit screen times for children. 2 hours for age 5 -18, one hour for age 2 -5 years and do not expose children under the age of 2.
- Take breaks when staring at screens. Remember the 20/20/20 rule. Look away every 20 minutes, for 20 seconds, and stare at something 20 feet away.
- Add screen filters to your devices
- Purchase computer glass with yellow tint. This can block out some of the blue light exposure.
- Anti-reflective lenses can be used to reduce and block glares and blue light.
Knowing these helpful tips can help protect your eyes and overall health. Remember to limit the amount of time on your mobile devices. As time goes on, this is only going to become more and more popular. But knowing the facts and being mindful of the long-term effects can help you in the long run.