Our ever-increasing use of digital screens can cause several ailments, especially digital eye strain. One of the significant issues is the blue light emitted by screens, which can disrupt our circadian rhythm and have physical side effects on our eyes. In this article, we’ll explore the dangers of blue light and the steps to protect ourselves from it.
What is Blue Light?
Blue light is light emitted from digital screens, including cell phones, tablets, and televisions. Effects from the shorter wavelength of blue light have been documented extensively in recent years. These include digital eye strain and disturbances to our natural circadian rhythm. For these reasons, limiting our exposure to blue light before sleep is vital for better rest.
The Effects of Blue Light on Our Eyes
Prolonged exposure to blue light can cause several problems for our eyes, including:
- Digital eye strain: This refers to the discomfort and fatigue that can result from staring at digital screens for long periods. Symptoms can include dry eyes, blurred vision, and headaches.
- Disrupted sleep patterns: Blue light can interfere with our body’s melatonin production, which regulates our sleep-wake cycle. This can make it harder for us to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Eye diseases: Long-term exposure to blue light has been linked to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, which can lead to vision loss.
How to Protect Your Eyes from Blue Light
There are several ways to protect your eyes from the effects of blue light, including:
- Using blue light-blocking glasses: These special glasses have a coating that blocks or filters out blue light, which can help to reduce digital eye strain and improve sleep.
- Adjusting your screen settings: Many devices have built-in settings that allow you to reduce the amount of blue light emitted by your screen.
- Taking regular breaks: Taking frequent breaks from your screen can help to reduce digital eye strain and give your eyes a chance to rest.
- Practicing good sleep hygiene: This includes going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, avoiding screens for at least an hour before bedtime, and creating a dark, cool, and quiet sleep environment.
The Kirk Eye Center team specializes in ophthalmology and can assist you if you’re experiencing vision issues or changes in your eye health. We invite you to contact us at 970-669-1107 for any questions about how chronic stress may affect your eyesight. Our experienced eye doctors are here to help.