Illuminating the Harmful Effects of Blue Light & UV Light
What is Blue Light and How it Affects Our Eyes
With the exciting development of new technology, people today are experiencing life at a quicker, much more convenient pace. Email messages are at the palm of our hand, meeting the next hot date can happen with the swipe of a finger, and adding groceries to your “cart” is as easy as clicking a button. But efficiency does not come without a cost. Unfortunately, along with the invention of smartphones and other electronic devices, comes the emergence of new health concerns.
It has been discovered that cell phones, tablets, and laptops emit a harmful blue light that can be damaging to the retina of the eye. And with the majority of the American population spending nearly 3 hours per day on their phones (and other devices), the eye damage from blue light has dramatically increased.
Besides our laptops and cell phones, harmful blue light is also emitted from LED lights, commonly found in business offices and grocery stores.
Without proper protection, blue light can yield irreversible side effects to the eyes, in particular the light-sensitive layer known as the retina. Responsible for the encoding processing of light, the retina performs key functions, and when damaged, is at risk to develop age-related macular degeneration, a disease that occurs when cells break down over time.
What is Ultraviolet Light + How it Affects Our Eyes
In addition to technology, we are exposed to another type of harmful blue light known as blue violet light or UV light. This form of light is emitted from the sun, but can also travel through the windows of our car, office, home, etc.
It’s also very important to protect our eyes from UV light. Without proper care, excessive exposure to UV light can result in cataracts, the consequence of poor vision due to clouding of the lens in the eye.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
Now that we’ve spent entirely too much time emphasizing the dangers of blue light and UV light, let’s focus on the light at the end of the tunnel – one that isn’t blue…and isn’t harmful! (Pardon the pun.)
It’s important to know that some forms of blue light are necessary for our vision.
So, with that being said, it’s best to protect the harmful parts but allow the necessary parts of blue light to be filtered. We’re excited to announce that some eyewear companies have tapped into technology and have created glasses that aid in the protection of harmful blue and UV lights, while allowing the good light to pass through.
Tips to Prevent Harmful Effects of Blue and UV Light
Be nice to your eyes. Check out these simple tips to prevent the dangerous effects of blue light:
Step away! Even if it’s for 20 minute increments. It’s important to avoid looking at bright screens for hours at a time, especially at night when your body needs rest. Blue light from smart phones can prevent your brain from releasing melatonin, an important hormone that communicates to your body that it’s night time.
Blink more. Seems simple, and it is. The process of blinking keeps your eyes lubricated.
Consider wearing glasses designed to block blue light, especially if you work a night shift or are required to use electronic devices in the evening time.
The good news? Many companies in the technology field are aware of the side effects of blue light and are dedicated to developing a solution. With their efforts, the development of specialized eyeglass lenses, and your own personal attention to protect your eyesight, it’s completely possible to prevent the negative effects of blue and UV light.
If you have any concerns, we urge you to talk with your eye doctor and inquire about blue light blocking lenses or any other options available to you.