First of all, what is blue light?
Blue light is a color in the visible light spectrum that can be seen and absorbed by human eyes. White light is made up of all colors, but the blue light that is found at the end of the light spectrum, has proven to be the most harmful. Screens on our electronic devices produce blue light at higher levels than what is even emitted by the sun. In short: the correlation between the amount of time we spend on our electronic devices and the troubling amount of blue light that is emitted from them, is proving to damage our eyes and overall health.
With technology and digital screens being such a normal component in our daily lives, what are some of the effects of too much exposure to blue light?
Understandably, there are a lot of negative effects that come from too much exposure to blue light. Many of which we may not even realize until the damages become too irreparable. Doctors are seeing increased cases in eye strain, long-term retina damage and a plethora of other mental and emotional health disorders.
Moving forward, how can we protect ourselves from blue light damage?
1. The simplest solution? Give your eyes a break.
Our world is becoming more digitally-based each day. With this continued progression comes the understanding that escaping your smartphone, tablet or computer at work all together is becoming less and less likely. All of our conversations seem to take place over email, and companies are becoming even more reliant on the Internet for improving research tactics, developing more digital content and upping their social media presence. While you may not be able to limit your blue light exposure at work too extensively, you are in control of how much time you spend looking at a screen when you’re at home. Take the extra initiative to set up electronic boundaries so that when you come home, you can fully disconnect and give your eyes a much-needed rest.
2. Invest in computer glasses with anti-reflective lenses.
Some people might have more sensitive eyes than others. If you feel like yours are particularly sensitive at the end of a long day, or after spending an extensive amount of time looking at a screen, consider investing in some computer glasses. Computer glasses, unlike normal reading glasses, have yellow-tinted lenses that block harmful blue light and minimalize digital eye strain. Even better than just basic computer glasses with tinted lenses are glasses with anti-reflective lenses. The extra coating affording by these specs provides an extra layer of protection in shielding against blue light.
3. Purchase a screen filter.
Screen filters are another inexpensive but truly effective option to use in helping to shield yourself from blue light. The filters can be fitted over your smartphone screen or even your computer screen. They work to absorb a portion of the blue light that is emitted, thus decreasing too much exposure on your eyes.
4. Strengthen your macular pigment.
Macular pigment is the primary blue light-absorbing tissue in your eye. This thin layer rests in the center of the eye, which is better known as the macula. The pigment is composed of three carotenoids: lutein, zeoxanthin and meso-zeoxanthin. Don’t feel discouraged by these big words because the process of strengthening your macular pigment is actually much easier than you may think. Especially because of lutein supplementation. The next time you visit your local grocery store, take a look at the huge assortment of vitamins that are available for eyes and vision. Whatever brand you buy, just be sure that the eye vitamins or multivitamins feature carotenoids in the ingredients.