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Author: adopractice

Blue Light: How to Protect Your Eyes from Electronic Devices

With the adoption of smartphones, tablets, and other computing devices, we find ourselves with an increasing threat to our eye health. Blue light is a concern for most of us, as it has proven harmful effects on our sleep and may contribute to eye problems such as digital eye strain, blurry vision, dry eyes, and possible retina damage. We’ll go over what blue light is, where it comes from, and how we can protect ourselves from it.

 

What is Blue Light?

Blue light refers to one of the several colors in the visible light spectrum. Each color has different wavelengths and energy levels. On one side of the visible light spectrum, red has the longest wavelength and the least amount of energy. On the opposite side of the spectrum, violet has the shortest wavelength and most amount of energy. When combined, these colors become the white light we see, with blue light being a large component.

 

The largest source of blue light comes from the sun. This light is beneficial during the daytime, as sunlight helps boost alertness, mood, and reaction times. Blue light also comes from our electronic devices, such as fluorescent lights, LED televisions, CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs, computer monitors, smartphones, and tablet screens. The blue light exposure received from electronic devices is much smaller than the blue light received from the sun, but the timing and length of the exposure are what causes eye problems.

 

Where Blue Light Comes From?

The largest source of blue light comes from the sun. This light is beneficial during the daytime, as sunlight helps boost alertness, mood, and reaction times. Blue light also comes from our electronic devices, such as fluorescent lights, LED televisions, CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs, computer monitors, smartphones, and tablet screens. The blue light exposure received from electronic devices is much smaller than the blue light received from the sun, but the timing and length of the exposure are what causes eye problems

 

How can we protect ourselves from blue light?

Blue light is detrimental in many ways, mostly to our sleep. Our circadian rhythm is disturbed when we observe blue light before bedtime. Any light can block the creation of melatonin, a hormone produced by the brain in response to darkness, with blue light doing so more powerfully. Therefore, shutting down electronics before bedtime by at least 30 minutes is essential to getting a night of good sleep.

 

Many desktop displays, smartphones, and tablets have blue light filters, sometimes known as night mode, built into them or have applications you can download to achieve the effect. Blue light filters help cut down on blue light exposure by reducing screen brightness and blue light emissions from devices. Blue light filters are an easy way to cut down on blue light exposure by going after the source.

 

Blue light-blocking computer glasses are orange filtered glasses that shield the eyes from blue light sources. Computer glasses work great for those who use electronic devices at night or for an extended time. Computer glasses are available in both prescription and non-prescription and can be equipped with glare-reducing anti-reflective coatings or photochromic lenses. Talk to your eye doctor or optician for advice on what computer glasses will work best for you.