Do you have a blue light filter on your phone or computer? Many newer devices are incorporating this feature. You may also have seen blue light glasses available online or at eyewear retailers. What is blue light, and how is it bad for your eyes? A Los Angeles, CA eye doctor explains in this article.
Blue light is present in sunlight, along with red, orange, yellow, green, indigo, and violet light. All these colors have different wavelengths and energy, or intensity. Red light has the least energy and the longest wavelength, while blue light has strong energy and short wavelengths. Blue light isn’t only put out by stars, though. It’s also emitted by many lights and electronic devices, such as computers, smartphones, and tablets. (Note: If you’re interested in space, you may have heard the terms redshift and blueshift . The colors of distant stars and other objects can help scientists determine whether they are moving toward or away from us. However, that’s a whole other topic.)
Blue light isn’t all bad. In fact, it appears to have some benefits, such as increased alertness, elevated mood, and better cognitive function. It also plays a role in regulating your body’s circadian rhythm, or sleep cycle. Plus, it’s important for vision development in children.
However, the news isn’t all good. The vast majority of the blue light you’re exposed to will go right through your lens and cornea, and reach the retina. Studies show that over time, excessive exposure to blue light can damage the cells in your retina. Unfortunately, this damage is irreversible. Blue light can also cause or contribute to other issues, such as eye strain, macular degeneration, and premature aging in the eye.
If you’re one of the millions of people that spend a lot of time online, you’ll need to take some steps to protect your eyes. Try to limit your screen time as much as you can. Be sure to take regular breaks to rest your eyes. You can also get blue-light filters for many electronic devices. Another option is to get computer glasses, which also block blue light. Anti-reflective (or anti-glare) eyewear can also help. Finally, be sure to visit your eye doctor regularly.
Are you due for an eye exam? Contact us, your Los Angeles, CA eye clinic, today!