Protecting Your Eyes from Blue Light
You may have heard about blue light and its effect on the human body in the news. But what exactly is “blue light,” and why should you be concerned about it?
Visible light is made up of different wavelengths and energy levels. The portion of the visible light spectrum with the most energy is blue light. Because blue light has a higher energy than other colors, it can quickly penetrate the retina at the back of the eye. Although certain structures in the eye, such as the cornea and lens, usually block harmful rays like ultraviolet light, they allow blue light to pass through.
How Does Blue Light Affect Your Eyes?
While you’ve probably heard that blue light is produced by digital device screens, the primary issue with digital devices is that we often have them close to our faces for hours at a time, so blue light exposure from devices can be quite intense. Research has shown that the retina’s light sensitive cells can be damaged when exposed to very high levels of blue light.
When your eyes absorb blue light, it can suppress melatonin – the natural hormone that prompts your body to get sleepy at night. While that can be beneficial during the day, it can be a problem when it’s time to sleep. When you spend a lot of time looking at screens, studies have shown that your sleep/wake cycle can be disrupted and cause sleep deprivation.
According to the American Optometric Association, exposure to blue light “Is a risk factor for the onset of age-related macular degeneration, a deterioration of the part of the retina responsible for sharp, central vision.” In addition, the intense focus necessary to look at screens can cause digital eye strain. Symptoms of digital eye strain can include:
• Back, neck, and shoulder pain
• Blurred vision
• Frequent need to rub or blink your eyes
• Difficulty with accommodation (focusing between near and far)
• Dry eyes
• Eye strain and headaches
How Can I Protect My Eyes from Blue Light?
Proper eyewear is the best way to protect your eyes from the effects of blue light. Blue-light-blocking lenses are specially created to filter out or block the blue light given off from digital screens. The lenses can help reduce potential damage to your retina and protect your eyes from glare from prolonged exposure to blue light.
Blue light blocking lenses are ideal for use in computer glasses, sunglasses, and general purpose eyeglasses. Regular use of blue light blocking lenses may help prevent the development of retinal damage and macular degeneration, as well as boost situational awareness and elevate your mood.
Wise Eyes Optical offers Blue Light Blocking Lenses. These lenses are specially coated to reflect and minimize the damaging wavelengths of blue light while allowing the beneficial portion of blue light to reach you.
Additional steps to manage the risks from blue light exposure can include:
• When outdoors, wear sunglasses with high-quality lenses that block 99 to 100% of UV radiation and around 75 to 90% of visible light.
• Practice the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes or so, stop what you’re doing and shift your gaze 20 feet away and focus on an object for 20 seconds. You can also blink your eyes quickly 20 times after that for an added refresher.
• Make an appointment with the professionals at Wise Eyes Optical for a comprehensive annual eye exam. We’ll make sure your eyes are healthy and that you’ll continue to see your best!
Contact Wise Eyes Optical
Your Hometown Vision Center Serving Central Pennsylvania
Your local Wise Eyes Optical hometown vision center is here to help you achieve the best possible vision for life. Speak with our eye professionals to find out how blue light may affect your eyes and how blue light lenses can offer protection. We offer expert eye and vision care including eye-related medical care, custom fitting of eyeglasses and contacts, eyeglass repair, and much more. If you have questions or would like to learn more, reach out to your nearest Central Pennsylvania Wise Eyes Optical office. For assistance, call (717) 242-1915.