Computers have changed our lives. On the one hand, technology has enabled access to information in a way that people previously had thought impossible. On the other hand, a large number of people now spend a significant portion of their day staring at computer screens. Staring at screens for too long can cause substantial eye damage and irritation.
Many people are not aware that digital screens give off a high energy “blue” light, which has the ability to significantly harm a person’s vision. The danger presented by this type of light is that the human eye does a poor job at filtering out blue light, which can result in vision loss. The best way for people to combat against blue light is to learn more about the nature of the light, why it is harmful, and what steps you can take to avoid harming your eyes with it.
Understanding What Blue Light Is
Many school children are taught the acronym “ROY G BIV”, which is an acronym for remembering the various colors that comprise sunlight — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.
While colors on the red scale of the spectrum carry less energy, colors that are on the violet (or “blue”) side carry much more energy. Commonly, these various colors combine to form the white light that people most often see. Some light, however, can be mostly blue — which can significantly harm a person’s eyes.
The reason why blue light is harmful is that it shines past a person’s cornea and often comes close to directly coming into contact with the retina. If the retina is damaged, blindness could occur. This article will talk about the ways in which you can avoid unnecessary eye damage from exposure to blue light.
Sunlight carries some blue light, but most digital sources carry a much more dangerous amount of blue light. These digital sources include compact fluorescent bulbs, flat screen LED televisions, fluorescent lights, and LED lights. Blue light also emanates from computer screens and smartphones. Over the last decade, there has been increasing concern by many experts about the danger presented by blue light that comes from digital screens.
Blue light can also result in eye strain. Some of the symptoms associated with this condition involve difficulty focusing, dry eyes, eye irritation, and fatigue.
Reasons You Should Block Out Blue Light
Even if you have not noticed any of the serious side effects that can result from substantial blue light exposure, many people report a variety of benefits from blocking out blue light.
Limiting blue light can reduce eye irritation, insomnia, and the risk of serious medical conditions like macular degeneration in later life.
For people with children, limiting blue light exposure for your kids helps to make sure that their eyes remain as healthy and strong as possible. Limiting a child’s exposure to blue light can also result in a decreased risk of concentration difficulties at school and in the home.
Steps You Can Take To Avoid Damage from Blue Light
If you work in an environment that involves constant exposure to blue light from digital screens, there are some important steps that you can take to decrease the impact caused by exposure. Some of these steps include:
- Using Computer Glasses: Implementing tinted lenses that block out blue light, computer glasses can significantly help people who must spend a significant amount of time in front of digital screens.
- Download Applications: There are various applications that can be used to reduce the harm created by blue light including the Twilight program. Designed for Android-based applications, Twilight neutralizes the blue light that emanates from digital screens. People who use the program are able to adjust the color temperature, dimness, and intensity of the screen. For PC users, SunsetScreen is one of the best options.
- Limit Screen Time: Decreasing the amount of time that a person spends in front of a digital screen can significantly help limit their exposure to blue light. People should also implement the “20-20-20 rule”, which involves looking 20 feet away from the digital screen for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
- Use Filters: Filters that screen out blue light are available for nearly all digital screens including computers, phones, and tablets.
Handle Blue Light Irritation When It Occurs
No matter what steps you take to combat exposure to blue light, there are still some measures that you can take if your eyes become irritated from exposure to digital screens. It is often helpful to talk to an optometrist to implement measures to avoid further irritation. Many people have also discovered that it is beneficial to purchase a kit from Cliradex that is made from natural products and can significantly help to reduce eye irritation.