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Five Negative Effects of Blue Light on Vision and Productivity

Posted by Dr. Danny P. Malone on Sep 5, 2019 8:30:00 AM

A study by Bank of America on trends in consumer mobility reported that 47%, or nearly half, of consumers reported that “they wouldn’t last a day without their smartphone.” That’s a bit dramatic. But it does provide a glimpse of how important these devices have become in our lives.

Blue Light Defined

headache at computerBlue light is the highest energy light we can see. It falls on the light spectrum just below ultra-violet (UV) light, which is invisible with even higher energy. Our smartphones, tablets, desktop computer displays, laptops, and LED television displays generate significant amounts of blue light. In addition, fluorescent and LED lights also emit blue light.

Sunlight and Blue Light— Benefits

The biggest source of blue light is the sun. There are quite a few benefits of blue light. These include elevated mood, increased cognitive function, and improved memory. The blue light from the sun also regulates our circadian rhythm, which is our sleep pattern.

Blue Light—Negative Effects

There are also quite a few negative effects including:

  1. Sleep Impact. With too much blue light, particularly late at night, our circadian rhythm gets thrown off and we can’t get to sleep. 
  2. Retina Damage. Continued exposure to blue light can also lead to damaging the light sensitive cells in your retina. 
  3. Macular Degeneration. Over time blue light is also thought to contribute to age-related macular degeneration, with can lead to vision loss.
  4. Broad Health Impact. Scientists have also found evidence that excessive exposure to blue light can lead to greater risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression.
  5. Digital Eyestrain. Digital eyestrain, or computer vision syndrome, is caused by spending hours every day in front of a computer screen. It consists of dry eyes, blurred vision, and headaches.  

What Can I Do About It?

There are two primary ways to reduce your exposure to blue light. One is to use a blue light filter that can be attached to the screens of computers, tablets, and smartphones. Another approach is to use glasses that have protection built-in.

There are a wide variety of options including glasses to wear just for viewing computer screens, special coated lenses including clear coatings, and lenses designed specifically to reduce blue light, using blue tech technology.

All of them can protect your eyes and reduce eyestrain from long hours in front of a computer. For more information, see my blog post “An Overview of the Effects of Screens on Your Vision.”

Take Care of Your Vision 

When it comes to improving your vision, including addressing the symptoms of digital eye strain, Vision Source Plano should be your first stop. We can conduct a thorough examination to identify any concerns and get you back on the road to vision health.

Use our contact form or call us at 972-612-2099.

Disclaimer: The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions. 

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Topics: blue light, bluetech