If you’ve spent any length of time on the internet, you’ve probably heard about “blue light” and how it can be bad for your eyes. “Blue light from digital devices can cause eye strain and damage the eyes in the long run” – this word of caution may just sound like a broken record at this point.
But what is blue light, why is it harmful, and how can we protect our eyes from it?
If you have such questions, just read on as we have answered them below!
What Is Blue Light?
Blue light is a type of high-energy visible (HEV) light emitted by digital screens like computer monitors, TVs, smartphones, and tablet devices. It has a very short wavelength and is scattered more easily than other colors, making it difficult for the eye to focus. In addition, blue light suppresses the body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep.
Blue light isn’t all bad though. One of the main advantages of blue light is that it helps boosts alertness and mood during daytime. However, too much exposure at night can make it difficult to fall asleep. That’s why it’s important to limit screen time in the evening and try to avoid looking at screens for at least an hour before bedtime. If you feel blue light might be a problem, you should consider buying one of the 7 Best Monitors for Eyes.
How Can Blue Light Affect Our Eyes?
Excessive exposure to blue light can cause digital eye strain, a condition that results in dry, irritated eyes, headaches, and neck and shoulder pain. In fact, digital eye strain is increasing at such an alarming rate that about 70% of digital users report experiencing symptoms of the condition. Even children are not immune, with studies showing that 80% of kids (aged between 10 and 17) experience one or more symptoms of digital eye strain.
And that’s not all. Blue light exposure has also been linked to more serious long-term problems like macular degeneration, a condition that causes vision loss. Besides, studies have shown that prolonged exposure to blue light can damage the retina, the sensitive tissue at the back of the eye responsible for sending visual signals to the brain.
So, with all these potential risks, it becomes crucial to protect our eyes from blue light exposure.
How Can We Reduce Eye Strain From Blue Light?
Blue light and digital devices go hand-in-hand. And since it has become impossible for humans to avoid smart devices and blue light exposure altogether, the best thing we can do is to reduce our exposure and protect our eyes from its harmful effects.
Here are a few practical tips for reducing eye strain from blue light:
Limit Your Screen Time
We understand that asking you to avoid any digital device in such a digitalized world isn’t realistic. But what you can do is limit the amount of time you spend in front of screens. If you work at a computer all day, take regular breaks to give your eyes a rest. And when you’re not working, limit your recreational screen time to no more than two hours per day.
Try The 20-20-20 Rule At Work
If you work at a computer, phone, or another type of screen all day long, try to follow the 20-20-20 rule. This means taking a break every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This simple exercise can help reduce eye strain and fatigue.
Use Blue Light Blocking Glasses
There are special glasses that have been designed to block blue light. If you spend a lot of time looking at screens, consider investing in a pair of these glasses. They can help reduce eye strain, dry eyes, and even migraines.
You can easily find these glasses online or at your local optical store. However, it’s advisable to consult an eye care professional before purchasing any type of eyewear.
Change The Settings On Your Devices
Most digital devices have settings that allow you to adjust the level of blue light they emit. If you’re using an electronic device at night, consider changing the settings to reduce the blue light emission. You can find these options in the form of “Night Mode” or “Night Shift” on most devices. This can help make it easier for you to fall asleep after using the device.
You can also increase the font size on your devices to reduce eye strain. These small steps can make a big difference in the amount of strain your eyes experience.
Install Blue Light Blocking Software
There are special software programs that can help reduce blue light exposure from screens. These programs filter the blue light from screens and make the colors appear warmer. This can help reduce eye strain, dry eyes, and fatigue.
If you spend a lot of time looking at screens, consider installing one of these programs on your devices.
Wear Sunglasses When Outdoors
Did you know that the sun is a major source of blue light? In fact, it’s the biggest and most powerful one.
So, one of the best ways to protect your eyes from blue light exposure is to wear sunglasses when you’re outdoors. Look for sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays. And make sure they fit well so that they don’t allow any light to enter from the sides.
Besides, sunglasses come in a wide range of colors. We recommend you get amber- or brown-tinted glasses, as they not only block blue light but also reduce glare, both of which are major causes of eye strain.
Get Enough Sleep At Night
Getting adequate sleep at night benefits our overall health, including our eyes. It allows our eyes to rest and repair themselves from the day’s activities. On average, we should aim for at least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.
When To Visit The Professionals?
In most cases, following the tips mentioned above can help reduce blue light exposure and its harmful effects on our eyes. However, if you experience any persistent symptoms, such as headaches, eye pain, blurry vision, or difficulty sleeping, it’s advisable to consult an eye care professional.