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What Is Blue Light?
You put on sunscreen and wear sunglasses when you know you’re going to be under a lot of sun. That’s awesome! You’re protecting your skin and eyes from the harmful effects of UV and blue light, preventing issues like cataracts and blindness. But what about all those hours you spend looking at your phone or watching Netflix? Or all those screens at work? Devices like computers, TV screens, and phones all give off harmful blue light, which can cause retinal, lenticular, and ocular surface diseases. The damage done to your eyes only gets worse with age.
So what exactly is blue light? Blue light is a range of light between 400-495nm that contains the highest amount of energy with the shortest wavelength in the visible light spectrum. Because of the short-wavelength and high-energy, blue light rays scatter more easily than other visible light rays when they strike air and water molecules in the atmosphere. This scattering is why the sky looks blue.
Blue Light: Is It Good or Bad?
The body uses blue light to regulate our sleep cycle, elevate mood, and enhance cognitive performance. But the problem with this is that that’s not true for all blue light. Only Blue Turquoise (465-495nm) is beneficial to the body, but most of the blue light we are exposed to, whether from our devices or the popular cool white LED light bulbs we’re using, is more harmful than it is helpful. This is Blue-Violet light (415-455nm) and this is the stuff that leads to eye diseases, some of which are permanent like macular degeneration, vision loss, and the consequences of digital eye strain.
Blue Light Causes Digital Eye Strain?
(Harmful) Blue Light Is literary EVERYWHERE. Everything from LED screens to our devices to fluorescent and LED lights to the sun are guilty of causing damage to our eyes. According to a survey by eMarketer in 2017, adults spent an average of 6 hours on electronic products per day. Nearly 70% of adults experienced some symptoms of digital eye strain. Symptoms include blurry vision, difficulty focusing, headaches, watery or dry eyes, increased sensitivity to light, a sore neck or shoulders, and burning or itching eyes. If your body is sending you any of these signals or you know you’re spending way too much time exposing your eyes to blue light, it’s time to take action and try to prevent it.
How to Protect Your Eyes?
But how can we avoid blue light when it’s everywhere? When going outside on a bright day, you should always wear sunglasses, which can protect against blue light. While indoors, limit the time you spend on electronic devices as much as possible (take a break and look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes) and replace cool white LED and fluorescent light bulbs with halogen bulbs. You should also avoid using devices right before bed and keep your bedroom dark and warmly lit at night. This will help keep your sleep cycle on track as well as protect your eyes! Finally, to really limit blue light exposure, ask your optometrist (make an appointment today) about the latest Blue Light Block lens/coating. If you’re a student or use computers for work, this is the best way to reduce blue light exposure at something you can’t control.
Unlike normal lenses, Blue Light Block lens can either absorb or filter out (through Blue Light Block coating) harmful blue light rays and prevent them from reaching your eyes. At Chinatown Optical, we are proud to offer varies of Blue Light Blocking solutions to all customers and our professional eyewear consultants can help you with any questions you may have in stores. We hope you’ll help us take care of your eyes. Make an appointment today to help keep your eyes healthy.