You are likely spending hours staring into your computer screen or your phone. You are not alone: This phenomenon has seen a marked increase since the onset of the pandemic. We have pushed most of our lives online, and we can hardly avoid that. But an increase in screen time increases the risk of digital eyestrain and damage from blue light.
Eyestrain can cause your eyes to become itchy and dry. Some people may develop migraines from the extended use of a computer screen. Using digital devices has also been shown to affect the body's circadian rhythms.
Sunlight contains different types of colored light. Blue light is one of these, from the spectrum of white light. It is defined as visible light with high energy levels and a shorter wavelength. We get the most exposure to blue light from the sun. Other sources of blue light are artificial, like fluorescent light and digital devices.
Recently, blue light has come under increasing scrutiny because of its link to digital devices. Tablets, phones, computers, and other digital devices emit blue light rays. They only produce a fraction of what we receive from the sun, but the amount of time we spend in front of screens and our constant exposure to them has caused some concern.
Because of its short wavelength, blue light can penetrate the eyes. All blue light can get to the retina through the cornea and the lens. Some experts suggest that exposure to a lot of blue light can damage light-sensitive cells found in the retina, but there is no research to prove this.
Although digital screens emit blue light, the level they emit is significantly lower than daylight. This means that it is way below the threshold for causing damage to the retina.
Blue light glasses, also known as blue light blockers, are glasses that significantly reduce the quantity of blue light that gets to the eye. The lenses filter blue light wavelengths and prevent them from causing damage to your eyes. The blue light glasses have a barely noticeable yellow tint. The yellow tint is meant to counter-balance the blue light.
Blue light glasses effectively limit the amount of blue light getting to your eyes. However, there is no research to prove that this is helpful to the health of your eyes. There is no scientific evidence that blue light glasses benefit your eye health.
There is, however, some evidence that blue light glasses can help you sleep better. Blue light from computer screens can reduce melatonin production, a sleep-inducing hormone. Wearing glasses can cause a 58 percent increase in the production of melatonin. This means that working at night is now possible without interfering with your sleep.
For more on protecting your eyes from screens with blue light lenses, visit Trinity Vision Center at our office in Walla Walla, Washington. You can call (509) 260-3500 to book an appointment today.