So let’s try and ignore the irony of this post and talk about the harmful effects of excessive blue light exposure caused by the necessary but excessive use of digital devices in today’s society. Aussie’s are reportedly spending an average 10.5 hours on their digital devices every day!
Too much light in the ultraviolet and blue-violet bands can damage the human eye. As well as leading to painful inflammation of the conjunctiva and cornea, it can also cause damage to the eye’s crystalline lens (e.g. cataracts) and especially to the retina (macular degeneration).
That’s why it is so important to wear sunglasses with 100% UV protection in strong sunshine, especially in situations where there is a lot of glare such as on water or snowy mountain slopes.
From light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and xenon light to energy-saving bulbs and electromagnetic radiation from screens, all the “new light sources” that are designed to make our lives better and easier contain a higher proportion of blue light than the old traditional light bulbs. The different spectral composition of the light means that we are exposed to significantly more blue light than before. Could this be having a detrimental effect on our eyesight?
So far no studies have been carried out to answer questions such as whether using computer displays or staring at these new sources of light for long periods of time could damage the retina. But it is important to remember that spending one hour outside on a normal overcast day exposes our eyes to 30 times more blue light than spending one hour inside sitting in front of a screen.
LED and LCD screens used in our smart phones, computers, televisions and other digital devices are emitting high levels of blue light UV. This natural phenomenon is present in daylight and helps us to stay awake during the day, however excessive amounts can result in eye strain, eye fatigue, headaches, blurry vision and even sleeplessness.
Have you noticed at night, after a day of staring at your computer screen or phone for extensive periods, that you are having trouble falling asleep? Blue light could be one of the contributing factors.
New blue-blocking anti-reflective coatings and lens materials are designed to neutralise the excessive blue light emitted by our digital devices to protect our eyes from these potentially adverse effects – a blue filter attenuates blue light in the 390 to 440 nm band. Will this generation be that generation that we look back on with early ARMD due to excessive blue light? Time will tell as research is pointing toward some harmful effects of blue light and the human retina.
If our optometrists do not put you to sleep with their eye stories at least the blue blocking filters will. Latest technology blue blocking coatings are available on most of our prescription spectacle lenses. We look after your eyes like they were our own!