There has been a lot of buzz about blue light these days. Blue light comes from a variety of sources, but in our society, we are getting quite a bit of it from all the screens in our lives, from the television to the computer, and even our phones. It is also a component of sunlight. Too much blue light can interfere with our sleep patterns, but it can also negatively impact our eye health and vision.
Where Blue Light Comes From
For the most part, sunlight appears as white light, but it combines the full-color spectrum. The part of the light with the lowest amount of energy are red and orange light. Blue light is visible light that is closest to ultraviolet radiation. Some blue light in our lives is good, and some even expose themselves to blue light lamps as part of light therapy to treat Seasonal affective disorder(SAD), which is a type of depression that some experience during the fall and winter. Being exposed to more blue light in the day, and less at night can help prevent some sleep problems.
Another area where an excess of blue light is a problem is with eye health and vision, and some may be more vulnerable than others. Those who have presbyopia, an age-related condition that causes a combination of farsighted and nearsighted symptoms, may have increased vulnerability to blue light, those who have recently had cataract surgery may also be more vulnerable. It is harder to focus with blue light as well, which can increase digital eye strain. An eye exam with an optometrist is needed to confirm whether these issues affect your life,
Managing the Blue Light in Your Life
Blue light is not all bad, but with so many screens in our lives, it is easy to end up with more blue light in our lives than what is good for us. We can reduce the amount of blue light in our lives by making a point to avoid it, especially at night, by tucking away phones and screens as bedtime approaches. We can also use filters to reduce the energy levels in the blue light and reduce eye strain as well as the possible risk for macular degeneration, a condition that can lead to vision loss.
Oftentimes phones, tablets, and computers have applications available that will provide red light filters that reduce the energy that is typically let off by blue light and reduces eye strain. While these can be helpful, it may leave things looking a bit different than how they are supposed to look and turning the filters off and on is not always an easy task.
Computer Glasses Can Help
Another option is to have blue light filtered with computer glasses, which are normally tinted yellow, and help with intermediate distance vision at the same time. If seeing the color properly becomes an issue, removing the glasses for a few minutes, or seconds is easier than resetting the settings on a phone or computer application. Even if you do not normally need glasses, you can still get these glasses to filter out some of the blue light in your life.
If you're concerned about how blue light has been affecting you, or if you just want to make sure your eyes are protected from potential damage, contact Hester Eye Associates, PC in Kennesaw GA at (770) 590-8191 to schedule an eye exam.