How Blue Light Affects Eyes

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The modern technological age has left us all at the mercy of our devices. You can’t live without them, no matter how much you try. You use your computers for both work and leisure while your smartphones keep you in touch and connected. Even TVs have managed to leave an indelible mark in our hearts as their functionality continues to grow seemingly every day. However, no matter how useful these digital devices are to you, the fact remains that their continued use exposes you to a lot of blue light, which may have serious consequences on your eyes.

Blue light and your eyes 

Other than the screens of various digital devices, blue light also comes from LED lights, fluorescent light, and the sun. Sunlight or ‘white light’ in general is made up of a mishmash of different colored rays that have different characteristics; blue light is one of them. Of all the colors, blue light boasts of the shortest wavelengths which in turn corresponds to the highest amounts of energy. That’s why blue light is also referred to as a High Energy Visible (HEV) light.

Due to such characteristics, the photoreceptors in your eye are more sensitive to blue light than any other component of visible light. Furthermore, your eyes aren’t very good at blocking blue light. Unlike the case with UV rays from the sun which are almost entirely blocked by the anterior structures in your eye, virtually all the blue light that hits your eye is allowed to reach the retina.

Blue light contributes to digital eye strain

You’ve probably heard about digital eye strain (DES) or Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). It’s a set of symptoms that occur due to prolonged periods spent in front of a screen. These symptoms include headaches, neck pain, fatigue, blurred vision and many more. As previously discussed, blue light has a short wavelength. This characteristic makes blue light scatter more easily than other colors. In fact, the blueness of the sky is due to this phenomenon. Light from the sun reaches the atmosphere and is scattered in all directions by gases and particles in the air. Blue light is scattered more, and this gives the sky its color. 

Unfortunately, when this happens in your eyes, the blue light isn’t focused properly, creating a sort of ‘visual noise’ that reduces the contrast of whatever you’re looking at. This makes you strain your eyes and contributes to the development of CVS. Additionally, you tend to blink less when looking at a screen hence prolonged screen time leads to dry eyes and eye strain.

Blue light can increase the risk of macular degeneration.

Almost all the blue light that reaches your eye penetrates all the way to your retina as your lens and cornea lack the ability of block or filter blue light. This is an important factor that can’t be ignored. After all, research findings have shown that excessive exposure to blue light can damage the light-sensitive cells in the retina.

The progressive destruction of these light-detecting cells in the retina that occurs as a result of too much exposure to blue light could contribute to age-related macular degeneration. That’s because you gradually lose the mechanisms that protect these cells from damage and destruction as you age, leading to permanent blindness. That’s why you should be rightfully concerned that the increased blue light exposure form our electronic devices may lead to blindness later in life. But while no research exists to definitively prove that blue light from these devices causes macular degeneration, it’s better to be safe than sorry. In short, protect yourself while you still can.

Protecting your eyes from blue light

First off, reduce the amount of time you spend on your screen. If this proves difficult, at least use techniques such as the 20-20-20 rule to give your eyes time to rest. There are also blue light filters available for smartphones, tablets and computer screens that also double up as screen protectors. At Ocushield, we offer a high-quality blue light filters that provide top-notch protection without compromising the visibility of your display. You could also opt for our stylish blue light filtering glasses that have special anti-glare and anti-blue light coatings to reduce blue light exposure and glare while maintaining optimal visibility. 

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