Many of us spend the bulk of our day staring at digital screens. Reading this article means there's a good chance you're looking at one right now. Most screens emit blue light.
Light visible to the human eye is made up the colours red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. These colours vary in wavelength and frequency. The blue, indigo and violet lights are higher frequency and energy. Studies suggest that, over time, exposure to these high energy blue lights could cause both short and long-term damage to your eyes.
Fluorescent and LED lights as well as LED screens found in televisions, computers and mobile phones emit high amounts of blue light. It is the blue light from devices held close to the eye that is most likely to cause eye strain and retinal damage due to their proximity to the eye.
Higher energy blue light flickers more than longer wavelengths of light. This flickering creates a glare that can reduce contrast and affect clarity. This can then cause eyestrain, headaches, physical and mental fatigue.
Our eyes natural filters don’t provide sufficient protection against blue light rays. Over the longer term, prolonged exposure to blue light may cause retinal damage and contribute to age-related macular degeneration, which can lead to permanent loss of vision. Chronic exposure to blue light has also been shown to have detrimental effects on our general health and disturb regular sleep patterns.
Exposure to blue light can be reduced with a coating on spectacle lenses that blocks the blue light. This can be applied to spectacles for everyday or simply ones designed for computer and screen use. Blue light filters can also be applied to specific screens that are used. These options can help you relieve digital eye strain.
About the Author:
Glenn Vessey is the owner and Principle Optometrist at Eyecare Plus Mulgrave VIC, which has been operating for over 30 years. He graduated from The University of Melbourne and has completed a Masters degree and research in both contact lenses and the genesis of myopia. Glenn was a councillor of the Victorian/Australian College of Optometry for 7 years. He specialises in ocular diseases and contact lenses. To book an eye exam with Glenn, visit www.eyecareplus.com.au/mulgrave