Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Maybe "blue light" isn't all that bad

Do you check your phone in the dark at night? I know I have an MP3 player with blue light I click on when I can't sleep. That supposedly can interfere with melatonin production and sleep--but that is not what this is about.

This is about whether blue light can harm your eyes.

The Vision Council says 90% of adults use digital devices more than two hours a day (is that all?).

There have been stories on how blue light can do all sorts of bad things to you, but Adam Gordon, OD, clinical assoc professor at the University of Alabama's Birmingham School of Optometry, says overuse and exposure to blue light can lead to eyestrain and focusing problems--but does not appear to cause long-term harm, eye disease, or damage to the retina.

Blue light is part of the visible light spectrum--high-energy light just beyond the potentially harmful ultraviolet light.

Blue light goes to the retina, triggering "sight."

Ultraviolet light can be harmful to the eye, contributing to cataracts, ptergia (growths) and perhaps macular degeneration.

We are exposed these days more to blue light--through fluorescents, LED, etc--and our digital devices.

Digital eyestrain comes from not blinking as frequently and the resulting dry eye. The effect can be burning or stinging. Plus, with digital devices, you are looking at a pixilated image that is rapidly alternating or flickering many times per second. It makes it hard to maintain focus.

There are special eyeglasses to help while using digital devices. They block the blue light. These may help if you spend a lot of time at the computer.

But otherwise, you can use the 20/20/20 rule. For every 20 mins on the device, look away for 20 seconds, focusing on something 20 feet away.

I do that--I gaze into the yard and daydream...Sorry, was I just doing it?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks

Star Lawrence said...

You're welcome...Just watch that eyestrain...