Blue light is everywhere. Outside from the sun and inside from indoor lights, phone, computer, flat screen TVs and other digital devices. This results in your eyes being exposed to visible and invisible light with a range of effects.
So, what should you know about blue light and your vision?
Shorter Versus Longer Wavelength Light
Most people know that sunlight is comprised of rays (especially ultraviolet light) which can cause eye damage. UV light can cause sunburn to the skin and a variety of damage to the surface and interior of the eye.
Shorter wavelength light toward the blue end of the spectrum has higher energy than longer wavelength light. So red light with longer waves has less energy than blue light.
On each end of the visible spectrum is infrared and ultraviolet light. We know about the dangers UV light poses to the eye, this is why we wear sunglasses outside for protection. UV light in moderation has beneficial effects as to help our bodies produce vitamin D. Visible blue light helps regulate our circadian rhythms, so too much can create sleep difficulties.
The eye can absorb most of the UV light from reaching the retina but not all. On the other hand, virtually all of the visible blue light reaches our retina.
Blue Light and Digital Eye Strain
Digital eye strain is linked to this increase in blue light that we get from all the digital devices that we and our children utilize every day. This increase in exposure to harmful blue light, which leads to eye strain, headaches, blurred vision and trouble sleeping. In addition, too much blue light exposure leads to retina damage i.e. macular degeneration.
Reduce your exposure by taking regular breaks and wearing digital eye protective glasses. Also, there are blue light filters for digital devices, which block more blue from our eyes.
Many glasses help protect our eyes from visible blue light and invisible UV light. These include photochromic lenses, computer lenses, certain anti-reflection lenses and coatings in addition to sunglasses. Ask your eye doctor if you would benefit from these special lenses during your next appointment at Berkeley Eye Center! If you’re due for your annual eye exam, click here to schedule it now.