Millions of Americans sit facing a computer screen for eight or more hours every day. You’re probably reading this article on one right at this very moment. Countless more focus on their smartphones and tablets throughout the day, in addition to the time spent staring at their computers.
If this sounds like you, do you have any of the following symptoms either periodically or on a routine basis: fatigued eyes, dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, or blank spots in your vision? You can experience one or more of these when you look directly at a computer screen all day. But it’s not just your computer, our electronic devices and even our hi-def televisions are having an impact on the well-being of our eyes.
It’s called digital eye strain and it affects a significant amount of the population annually. The symptoms above are just some of the impacts it can have on our eyesight and our overall health.. This eye strain is a result of direct and consistent exposure to blue light. But that’s not all, you may even discover that you’re having trouble sleeping at night.
Yup, you guessed it, the same blue light exposure when taken in the evening can disrupt the circadian rhythms that allow you to sleep properly. When we sleep, our bodies secrete melatonin which helps to put us to rest so we can have a good night’s rest. However, far too many of us stay up late working in front of our laptops and computers and that blue light exposure can interrupt the proper release of serotonin, affecting sleep quality.
So what’s the answer to the problem of blue light exposure and the digital eye strain that comes from it? For some, the most effective solution has been blue light glasses. But before you start checking around on the Internet for a pair of this special eyewear, let’s discuss why blue light can be have such a negative and damaging impact on the eyes.
Blue Light Glasses. Do they Really Work?
The issue is an exposure to blue light. But that doesn’t sound all that dangerous, so what’s the problem?
Consider the sun up above for a second. The life-sustaining orb of gas and plasma that we depend on for so many things in our daily lives provides one essential element to everyone – sunlight. When we discuss light we need to consider the types of light rays that are contained within it. For sunlight, you get a wide spectrum of colors such as orange, red, yellow, green, and yes, blue light. These all come about through electromagnetic radiation.
When we are exposed to this entire spectrum of colored light rays, the whole combination makes up what we refer to as sunlight. Now each type of light ray has its own amount of energy and wavelengths. Red, for example, has some of the least energy because it contains the longest of wavelengths. The longer the wavelength, the less energy emitted by that light ray.
Blue has much shorter wavelengths which means that its light rays have much more energy within. This blue light is also referred to as high-energy blue light (HEV) which makes it the most similar to ultraviolet light (UV). Now if this color light ray in sunlight has the most energy along the shortest wavelength, what kind of impact do you think it’s having on your eyes when you are staring right at it for eight or nine hours a day, perhaps even longer?
Studies have shown that extended exposure to blue light can cause damage to the retina of the eye. This is due in large part to the eyes straining to manage this lengthy exposure to the blue light being emitted by laptop screens and smartphone displays. Remember those symptoms we discussed up above? How many times do you feel like you’re experiencing those effects while you are at work? If it’s more than once a day, that means your eyes are trying to cope with staring at blue light the whole time. Over time, this eye strain can start to cause vision impairments like cataracts and a condition called age-related macular degeneration.
In both cases, your eyes can become so damaged as to drastically impair your eyesight.
But blue light glasses can be a beneficial instrument in helping to stave off the effects of digital eye strain as a result of blue light exposure. These are a form of eye wear that is designed to reduce the affects of blue light on the eyes and minimize the symptoms that come about from digital eye strain.
Those among us who already wear eyeglasses to see properly will find that adding filtering lenses to their existing eyeglasses will be doing their eyes a great favor in the long run.
You don’t even need to be sight-impaired to wear blue light glasses either. While this eyewear is available in a variety of magnifications, even those with perfect vision can benefit from wearing these types of glasses as a way of preserving their eyesight so they don’t develop problems later on. This is accomplished through special filters in the lenses that are designed to filter out up to 50% of blue light and 95% at the strongest wavelengths but without the yellow tint that come about from such filtration techniques.
As a result, these lenses won’t just reduce the glare of blue light on your eyes so as to minimize digital eye strain, they will also greatly reduce the symptoms that you feel like headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes and more. The world is only going to continue using computers and electronic devices, why not do something about it by protecting your eyes from the impacts of so many sources of blue light?
Blue light glasses can make a big difference for anyone who works in front of a computer screen every day. Turns out that happens to be just about everybody who works in an office setting of any kind and that likely includes you.