Do you find your eyes feeling tired or dry after working long hours at your desk job? That’s because spending too many hours staring at a digital screen with blue light can cause your eyes to work too hard. But what is blue light and how does it affect our eyes?
What is blue light?
Blue light is a band of the visible light spectrum that has a shorter wavelength and produces higher energy than other colors of light. It usually comes from the sun, but it also comes from fluorescent lights and digital screens like computer monitors, TVs, tablets and smartphones. About 80% of American adults use digital devices for more than two hours every day. Almost 67% of people use two or more devices at once. About 59% of people experience signs of digital eye strain, like tired eyes or discomfort.
Because our eyes aren’t very good at stopping blue light, almost all the blue light we can see goes through the front part of our eye. Then it gets to the back of the eye called the retina. The retina has cells that change light into signals for the brain to understand as pictures.
Is blue light bad for your eyes?
Although there isn’t solid proof that it directly hurts your eyes, some studies have raised concern about its possible long-term impact. Most people blink less when looking at digital screens, which can cause tired or dry eyes. When your eyes work too hard, it can cause uncomfortable headaches. Constant exposure to blue light could cause damage to the eyes or vision problems.
5 Easy Ways to Protect Your Eyes
#1: Try the 20-20-20 rule.
The 20-20-20 rule was created to help prevent eye strain. For every 20 minutes you are looking at a screen, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will help protect your eyes and provide a needed break from your digital screen.
#2: Adjust the brightness of your digital screen.
You can adjust the brightness on most digital screens. The easiest way to do this is to adjust the brightness on your digital screen so it isn’t brighter than the light around you. This will help your eyes relax and won’t make them work harder.
#3: Keep your eyes moist.
Blinking helps keep our eyes moist, which helps keep them relaxed. Staring at digital screens can cause you to blink less. If you find your eyes feeling extra dry while looking at a digital screen, consider keeping eye drops nearby to help protect your eyes from dry eye.
#4: Try blue light glasses.
Blue light glasses are designed to help filter out blue light. Since there is no solid evidence of blue light harming our eyes, these glasses are not necessary. However, these glasses may help with you avoid tired or dry eyes.
#5: Use eyeglasses with the right prescription.
If you wear prescription eyeglasses, make sure you’re wearing a pair that is meant for the distance between your eyes and the digital screen. This will help keep your eyes from working too hard and you will be more comfortable overall. If you need prescription glasses, or a general eye exam, visit your eye doctor! DeltaVision® members can find an in-network vision provider by visiting deltadentalaz.com/find and clicking the “Find Vision Providers” button.
Interested in more information on vision health for you and your family? Check out 5 Tips for Keeping Your Eyes Healthy While Swimming.