Blue light is a hot topic that most high-tech people have heard about. However, how much do you understand about these hazardous light waves? Do you know what they are, where they are, and how to protect your eyes from their harmful effects? At Dr. Bob Yip and Associates, our eye doctor is dedicated to keeping our East Orlando patients up-to-date and well informed about eye health. Therefore, we prepared this helpful guide to understanding blue light and computer vision.
Basics of Blue Light
All light is composed of electromagnetic particles that release energy as they travel in waves. These light waves differ in length and strength, and shorter wavelengths are associated with higher levels of energy. On the spectrum of visible light, blue light has one of the shortest lengths.
You may not see it clearly, but blue light surrounds you constantly. The shining sun sends natural blue light into our atmosphere. As it crashes into air molecules, it disperses. In addition to natural blue light, devices such as fluorescent lighting, LED lights, digital screens and electronic devices emit artificial blue light. Think about it – throughout each day you are thereby bombarded with huge quantities of artificial blue light!
What is the Problem with Blue Light?
Natural blue light – in moderate doses – isn’t really the problem. In fact, the sun’s blue light can benefit your health, as it helps to set your circadian rhythm. This controls your body’s times for sleeping and waking. Blue light can also boost your energy, raise your mood, make your memory stronger and speed your reaction times. Yet, the hazards of artificial blue light (and overexposure to all types of blue light) is another story altogether.
Computer Vision Syndrome and Digital Eyestrain
Viewing a digital screen stresses your visual system. Blue wavelengths flicker, which causes a glare that can disrupt your visual clarity and comfort. Over time, this flickering can lead to a slew of disturbing symptoms. In addition, the font may not be crisp enough, and reflections may reduce the contrast between text and background. The angle of your screen may also strain eye muscles.
It makes no difference if you’re gazing at a smartphone, tablet, computer screen or other electronic gadget, all high-tech devices contribute towards the onset of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). Nowadays, estimates claim that the average person spends at least 6 hours per day in front of digital tech! It’s no wonder why our eye doctor diagnoses computer vision syndrome (CVS) frequently in our East Orlando optometry practice.
The symptoms of Digital Eyestrain include:
- Eye irritation
- Dry eyes
- Constant need to blink or rub your eyes
- Blurry vision
- Neck and back pain
- Trouble focusing between near and far
These symptoms can range from mild to extreme. Your individual health and vision condition will also determine the effects of computer vision. Any untreated vision condition, such as presbyopia, astigmatism, and weak eye coordination can all increase the severity of your symptoms of digital eye strain.
Computer Glasses Block Blue Light
No foolproof cure exists for computer vision. Yet, our eye doctor can help relieve your symptoms! Blue light is a primary cause of computer vision syndrome and specialized computer glasses are an effective way to solve this problem. Customized lens coatings, tints and lens powers are used to keep your eyes safe from blue light. They will also enhance your vision of the screen. Specialty computer glasses can be made as prescription or nonprescription eyewear, so there’s a pair for everyone! We offer a full selection of computer glasses in our East Orlando optical store; please visit to take a look!
More Tips to Prevent Computer Vision Syndrome
It may be helpful to rearrange your desk and furniture, and we’ll help you figure out the optimal placement for your keyboard, screen, reference materials and chair. Lighting conditions are also important. Another tip is to focus on blinking enough! Your eyes need to stay lubricated, and people often blink less when staring at a screen.
Blue Light & Eye Health
Your eyes have melanin, which filters naturally against normal exposure to dangerous blue light. Yet melanin doesn’t protect sufficiently against overexposure, which is the contemporary problem. Also, your quantity of melanin decreases with aging. Recent studies demonstrated that the huge amounts of blue light hitting our eyes is contributing to an increased rate of retinal damage and macular degeneration. These eye diseases threaten the lasting health of your eyes and vision.
Blue Light & Body Health
As long as we’re discussing the effects of blue light on your eyes, it’s worthwhile to be aware of the widespread negative effects of blue light on your entire body.
Overall health risks include:
- Increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity
- Higher incidence of specific cancers
- Disruption of your circadian rhythm, which leads to sleep disorders and insomnia
- Higher chance of depression
In sum, if you’re like most Florida residents – you spend a lot of time absorbing blue light rays (natural or artificial), which means it’s high time to visit our East Orlando eye doctor! Dr. Bob Yip will treat you with the most progressive eye care to protect against blue light.