How Are Blue Light and Digital Eyestrain Harmful?

How Are Blue Light and Digital Eyestrain Harmful?

Visible light is more complicated than you may think. Stepping outside, turning on your computer, or using a digital device all cause your eyes to be exposed to many types of light. Each of these can have a range of effects on your eyes.

Where Does Blue Light Come From?

The main source of blue light often comes from the sun. Being outside during the day is where many people get exposed to blue light. However, there are many man-made sources of blue light that come indoors. This includes LED lights, fluorescent lights, televisions, computers, smartphones, and other devices.

Because so many people spend a significant portion of their day in front of these devices, people may suffer from side effects. These devices are also often closer to users’ faces, making this more concerning to eye doctors.

The anterior structures in the back of your eyes, also known as the lens and the cornea, can block UV rays from the sun, even if you are not wearing sunglasses. However, these structures cannot block the blue light very well. Almost all of the blue light that enters your eyes will pass through the anterior structures and enter your retina.

Harmful Effects of Blue Light

Because blue light enters all the way to the retina, eye doctors are concerned about the potential negative effects. Studies have shown that when the retina is exposed to blue light, the sensitive cells there can become damaged. This causes changes that are similar to macular degeneration. This can eventually lead to permanent loss of vision.

More research is needed to determine how much blue light is too much for the retina. However, the blue light from digital devices, such as computer screens and smartphones, can increase your risk of macular degeneration later in life. There is currently no way to reverse this type of vision loss.

Blue Light After Cataract Surgery

If you are about to have surgery to remove cataracts from your eyes, then you will want to find out what type of intraocular lens they will use to replace your natural lens. You will also want to know how much protection from blue light this intraocular lens will provide for you. If you are not getting protection in the new lens, you may want to consider getting some glasses that are designed to block the blue light.

Digital Eye Strain From Blue Light

Blue light is high energy and has short wavelengths. This means that it scatters much more easily than other types of visible light. It is not as focused. When you are looking at a digital device that puts forth a lot of blue light, it ends up being like visual “noise.” It can reduce contrast and cause digital eye strain.

Much research has shown that lenses that block blue light can increase contrast quite a bit. Using computer glasses that have yellow lenses can make you more comfortable when you are using your digital devices for an extended period of time. Your eye doctor can help you decide if getting this type of glasses is a good choice for you.

Make an appointment with Lume Family Eye Care in Worthington, Ohio, today to find out how you can protect your eyes.