Blue light has recently come to the forefront of many conversations surrounding eye health. It comes naturally from the sun but now with more use of digital devices, research has found that it is also emitted from screens and at a higher frequency.
If you are an entrepreneur, blogger, or office worker, you likely are exposed to blue light for an extended period of time from a computer screen, often with little to no breaks for your eyes. So what can you do to protect yourself from harmful amounts of blue light? Find out more about this type of wavelength below and how to block it from penetrating your eyes.
What is blue light?
Blue light is a short, high energy wavelength that naturally comes from the sun but artificially comes from LED bulbs, televisions, computer screens, smartphones, and tablets. It can cause harm to your vision, psychological health, and sleep. Because blue light regulates the sleep cycle, when we are exposed to it during the day from the sun, it’s great! It helps keep your body awake, alert, and energized. However, the higher level of artificial light coming off of electronic screens can be damaging to our eyes. If you have to use your computer or tablet for an extended period of time for work, you may feel the symptoms of digital eye strain which can be uncomfortable and painful. These include headaches, dry eyes, blurry vision, and even neck pain. Have you ever felt any of these effects yourself, while working on your computer, tablet, or phone?
How can you protect against it?
Again, natural blue light being absorbed by your retinas is normal and good for the body. However, the issue with our vision comes from artificial blue light emitted from digital screens. There are a few things you can do to help lower the amount of blue light coming into your eyes, which can affect your vision and overall quality of life.
- Invest in blue light glasses: these types of frames help filter out most of the blue light that can be absorbed by your retinas. They are especially useful while watching tv or if you work at a computer for an extended period of time. If you ever feel like you get headaches, blurry vision, or dry eyes after hours of computer use, these glasses may be for you.
- While you’re working, it can be hard or annoying to take frequent breaks. However, taking breaks from looking at your screen can help reduce any discomfort from digital eye strain. Practice the 20-20-20 rule – look 20 feet away from your computer, every 20 minutes, for at least 20 seconds at a time to help keep your eyes moisturized and prevent headaches.
- Use screen protectors on your electronics: much like blue light glasses, blue light screen protectors for smartphones filter out the blue light emitted from your devices before it reaches your eyes. The best part? Screen protectors act as a continuous layer of protection. Essentially you are eliminating the burden of having to remember your glasses each time you use a device because you have already armed it with a long-lasting defense. So, think of the devices you use the most and see if there is a screen protecting option!
Next time you’re at your desk working, on your phone for a few hours straight, or watching television before bed, take time to think about how you feel. Are you getting a headache or are your eyes feeling dry? If so, these are likely the uncomfortable symptoms of excessive exposure to blue light and digital eye strain that can be avoided. Be sure to take a break from your electronics, invest in glasses or screen protectors to help and see if you feel better.
Not all blue light is bad, but the stronger, artificial blue light can be damaging to your vision and overall health. Be aware of the effects and how you can protect yourself to live your best, healthiest life.
Picture credit: Photo by Trent Erwin on Unsplash