22/02/2023 by Goldsmith & Harvey
Is Blue Light Bad For Your Eyes?
Read our latest article to learn how blue light affects your eyesight.
With the dawn of our increasingly digital age, it should not be a surprise that with the development of technology, more and more people are spending time looking at screens. With this shift towards screen-based activities, concerns have been raised about potential long-term consequences to eye health - particularly from blue light exposure.
As a result, there has been an influx of reports and studies discussing how blue light can affect our eyesight when we stare at screens for too long or spend too much time in front of illuminated devices late into the evening.
To help set the record straight on whether these fears are warranted and what measures you should take to protect your vision, let’s explore if blue light is as bad for our eyes as some worry!
If you are concerned about your eye health, you have come to the right place; our team here at Goldsmith & Harvey can provide you with eye tests carried out by expert optometrists. To make an appointment get in touch with our team today!
What Is Blue Light?
Blue light is a type of visible light with a shorter wavelength and higher energy than other colours of visible light. It is part of the electromagnetic spectrum and is present in natural sunlight and light emitted by electronic devices such as smartphones, laptops, and LED televisions.
Blue light is essential for regulating circadian rhythms, which control our sleep-wake cycle and other physiological functions. However, exposure to too much blue light at night, especially from electronic devices, can interfere with sleep and disrupt our circadian rhythms.
In addition, some studies suggest that excessive exposure to blue light over extended periods may increase the risk of eye damage and contribute to the development of specific health problems such as digital eye strain, age-related macular degeneration, and cataracts.
As a result, many people choose to use blue light filters on their devices or wear blue light-blocking glasses to reduce their exposure to this type of light.
Can Blue Light Damage Your Eyes?
Excessive and prolonged exposure to blue light can damage your eyes. Blue light has a shorter wavelength and higher energy than other colours of visible light, and this higher energy can penetrate deeper into the eye, potentially damaging the retina.
Long-term exposure to blue light may increase the risk of developing certain eye conditions, such as digital eye strain, which can cause symptoms like dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, and neck or shoulder pain. Other potential risks of blue light exposure include age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness, and cataracts, which cloud the eye's lens.
While blue light exposure from digital devices may not cause permanent eye damage, it can still be uncomfortable and cause temporary symptoms.
To reduce the risk of strain on your eyes and other problems associated with blue light exposure, it is recommended to take frequent breaks when using digital devices, adjust the brightness of your screen, and use blue light filters or blue light-blocking glasses.
Can An Optometrist Help With Blue Light Issues?
Yes, an optometrist can help with blue light issues. Optometrists are eye care professionals specialising in diagnosing and treating eye and vision problems. They can provide a range of solutions to minimise the effects of blue light on your eyes.
One standard solution that an optometrist may recommend is using blue light-blocking glasses or lenses, which can help filter out blue light and reduce eye strain. These lenses can be added to prescription glasses or purchased as non-prescription eyewear.
In addition, an optometrist can provide advice on reducing blue light exposure and promoting good eye health, such as taking frequent breaks when using digital devices, adjusting screen brightness and contrast, and optimising the lighting in your workspace or home.
Suppose you are experiencing symptoms such as eye strain, headaches, or other visual discomfort related to blue light exposure. In that case, it is a good idea to consult an optometrist to determine the best action to protect your eyes and reduce your symptoms.
How Can You Manage Blue Light Exposure?
There are several ways to manage blue light exposure to help protect your eyes and minimise the potential adverse effects of blue light. Here are some tips:
Adjust your device settings: Most smartphones, tablets, and computers have settings that allow you to reduce the amount of blue light emitted from the screen. You can turn on "night mode" or "blue light filter" to reduce blue light exposure, especially in the evening or before bedtime.
Take breaks: It's essential to take frequent breaks when using digital devices to give your eyes a rest. Follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This can help reduce eye strain and fatigue.
Use blue light-blocking glasses: Blue light-blocking glasses or lenses can help filter out blue light and reduce eye strain. They are available with or without a prescription and can be worn while using digital devices or at night.
Optimise lighting: Make sure the lighting in your workspace or home is sufficient and not too bright. Use warm lighting instead of excellent lighting, which can emit more blue light.
Limit screen time: Reduce your overall screen time, especially before bedtime. This can help promote healthy sleep habits and reduce blue light exposure.
Consider screen-free activities: Take breaks from digital devices and engage in activities that don't involve screens, such as reading a book, going for a walk, or practising meditation or yoga.
Incorporating these tips into your daily routine can help manage blue light exposure and promote good eye health.
Contact Goldsmith & Harvey For Help With Your Eye Health
To sum up, blue light coming from the screens of our digital devices is not suitable for our eyes. Overexposure to blue light can cause serious problems such as disrupting the body’s natural circadian rhythm, dry eye, loss of contrast and colour perception, macular degeneration, potential vision damage and headaches.
If your lifestyle involves spending many hours on a digital device such as a computer or mobile phone, then it would be wise to invest in some safety measures, such as protective glasses and multilayered screens, and taking regular breaks from the screens throughout your day.
Blue light may be unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean it needs to hurt your eyes. With the proper protection, you can lessen or even prevent the effects of overexposure to blue light.
Contact us today to find out how Goldsmith & Harvey can help protect your eyes from blue light damage and find eyewear solutions tailored to fit your lifestyle and needs!