Could blue light be permanently ruining your vision?

Kacie Cusick, IV Leader Social Media Manager

Blue light is mass consumed without much regard to what it actually is nor the potential harms of it.

The Macmillan Dictionary defines, “Blue light—light from electronic devices such as computers and smartphones
and from energy-efficient lightbulbs that has been linked to health problems and sleep disruption.”

So where is this blue light? It is being emitted from TVs, computer monitors, tablets, cell phone screens, and LED light. Artificial lighting emits blue light. People all over the world are subjected to more artificial light now than at any other time in previous history. This raises the question, “At what cost?”

Blue light is not a new phenomenon making its first appearance on cell phone screens. It is naturally emitted by the sun in the largest quantities every day. In fact, blue light can even be vital to our health.

According to allaboutvision.com, “Ultraviolet radiation, in moderation, also has beneficial effects, such as helping the body manufacture adequate amounts of vitamin D.” Blue light is not the enemy, but something to be cautious of.

The site preventblindness.org warns about two major side effects to blue light consumption: digital eyestrain and macular degeneration.

It states, “Blue light from computer screens and digital devices can decrease contrast leading to digital eyestrain. Fatigue, dry eyes, bad lighting, or how you sit in front of the computer can cause eyestrain. Symptoms of eyestrain include sore or irritated eyes and difficulty focusing. Studies suggest that continued exposure to blue light over time could lead to damaged retinal cells. This can cause vision problems like age-related macular degeneration.”

With this being said, what can be done to reduce blue light intake? The Harvard Health team suggests, to wear anti-reflective glasses, install an app that filters the blue/green wavelength at night, or invest in a filter that decreases the amount of light reaching the retina.

Reducing the amount of blue light we are subjected to could result in a better night sleep and also cut back on harmful retinal damage, especially at night. Use blue-lit screens sparingly.

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