From a young age, we were warned about the sensitive and delicate nature of our eyes. Don’t stare at the sun. Don’t read in dim light. Don’t rub your eyes. However, digital devices fit naturally into our everyday lives, often without concern or awareness of just how harmful these displays can be to our vision. Any backlit display of unnatural digital light causes eye strain, significant fatigue, and can even cause permanent eyesight damage. The culprit? The blue light emitted from our digital devices. With an average time of 10-hours per day spent with our eyes on TVs, cell phones, and computers, it’s a wonder we’ve only just begun the conversation about how to protect our eyes.
At Just 4 Eyes, we’re here to educate and empower you to better understand the ways you can protect your vision to be more comfortable and productive on-screen so that you can live a better life off-screen.
What Is Blue Light?
Blue light occurs naturally, all around us, throughout our every day. The sky is blue. We can see that water looks blue in some lakes and oceans. And it’s one of the primary visible colours in any rainbow.
Natural blue light helps our natural ability to regulate when we sleep and when we’re awake. Its position on the spectrum helps to boost our alertness, elevate our mood, and it’s the source of a sense of well-being.
Artificial blue light, on the other hand, disrupts our natural rhythms and damages our eye health. The light emitted from computers, flat-screen televisions, LED lights, energy-efficient light bulbs, cell phones, e-readers, laptop computers, and other electronic devices is harmful to your eyes. These devices emit high levels of strong blue light waves that are shorter wavelengths and much higher, concentrated energy than natural blue light. These waves appear to flicker more than the longer, weaker wavelengths. While we filter our attention away from this flickering, our eyes are still taking it all in, causing fatigue and, eventually, damage.
What Are The Symptoms Of Digital Eye Strain?
One of the reasons damage from blue light has gone unnoticed for so long is because the symptoms are subtle. And even the most severe symptoms can be attributed to other causes than digital fatigue. Here are a few of the most common symptoms you could be suffering without even realizing the culprit is blue light.
- Sore or tired eyes
- Blurry vision
- Stiff neck
- Increasingly fast vision impairment
- Interrupted sleep/wake cycles, sleeplessness
- Groggy or sleepy throughout the day
- Accelerated aging of the skin as blue light also prematurely ages skin
What Can You Do About Blue Light?
While the effects of blue light can be harmful, there are steps everyone can take to limit damage and protect their vision.
- Get a check-up and talk to your ophthalmologist about eye health.
- Follow the 20/20/20 Rule. It’s recommended that everyone who spends time on their digital devices or watching TV set an alarm to remind them to set their gaze about 20 feet away every 20 minutes for about 20 seconds. This helps to give your eyes a rest so they can refocus, which protects them from the long-term strain.
- Limit your time on digital devices whenever possible. Instead of taking a break from the computer only to scroll through social sites on your phone, use breaks to walk away from blue light, completely.
- Avoid using digital devices an hour before bed. Blue light messes with your sleep-wake cycle. Close the computer, turn the phone off. And use light bulbs in your bedside lamp or reading light that won’t emit blue light.
- Make use of quality ambient lighting. Have you found yourself working in a dark room with only your computer or phone glowing in place of midnight oil? Instead, maintain a balanced light in your workspace or wherever you spend time on digital devices. By avoiding high contrast dark-light environments, you’ll reduce glare and significant eye strain.
- Choose eye drops that are formulated to soothe dry eyes. I-Med Pharma has been creating eye relief solutions for 30 years. Just 4 Eyes is the only eyewear store in the Calgary area that care enough about your ocular health to carry the I-med eye drops.
- Visit our online store to learn more about how I-Med drops can help you.
- Invest in blue light filtering lenses. You can get prescription and nonprescription lenses designed to block the penetration of harsh, short-wavelength blue light emitted by digital devices. Just 4 Eyes offers several options, and we’re happy to match you with the perfect blue light solution.
While blue light does carry many risks and can cause permanent damage, everyone can significantly diminish the harmful effects by recognizing the symptoms and taking action. If nothing else, reach out to Just 4 Eyes with your questions, and to purchase blue light blocking lenses. Your eyes will thank you, and you might even discover a change that improves your overall productivity, health, and well-being.