Light is a complex thing to understand. When you step outdoors to the sun, you flip a wall switch in your home, you turn on and use your computer, you check your mobile phone or tablet, or you watch TV, you are exposing yourself to various kinds of visible and even invisible rays of light.
These can have an effect on the body, which can either be good or bad, depending on the type of light.
Blue Light Effects
A recent study conducted by the Bank of America confirmed that almost 50% of US consumers couldn’t live without their mobile devices even for a day. It is indeed hard to resist since most of us depend on smartphones to check emails, talk to our loved ones, and even read the news. But what most of us don’t know is that the blue light emitted by our precious devices can harm our vision – and in the long run, it could even have a negative impact on our health.
Continual exposure to blue light when looking at our devices can affect our eyes mainly in two ways:
1. Digital Eye Strain
This is the most common side effect of extended device use. Looking at the screen means our blink rate reduces and this causes eye strain. Symptoms include dry, runny, and/or tired eyes. This problem is temporary, but it can become chronic if unaddressed.
2. Permanent Eye Damage
This sounds like a serious problem because it is. Blue light is exactly what you think it is: light that emits a blue color. And that is a harmful type of light because it has the highest energy wavelength out of all types of visible light. Blue light can even penetrate to the back of the eyes, all the way through the natural filters of our eyes. Over time, this can contribute to eye diseases, including macular degeneration.
Thankfully, there are ways to solve these two eye problems. First of all, since digital eye strain is caused by reduced blinking, the solution is to blink more. This will keep the eyes lubricated. Another method is to apply the 20-20-20 rule where you stare at something that’s at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. For the second one, the solution is simple: cut back on your use of devices, especially at night.
Talk to an eye doctor as well to get lenses that can filter out blue light. By doing these simple solutions, you can protect your eyes, keep them healthy, and help them last longer than our devices.