A common challenge that many office workers and technology users face is digital eye strain. This happens when you spend too much time staring at a digital screen, which emits blue light. You have likely heard about the blue light issue and its effect on the body; however, do you really know what it does? We are here to answer that question for residents of the Paducah, KY area.
What Really is Blue Light?
Blue light is the name for a light spectrum that exists very near the ultraviolet (UV) light that is emitted by the sun. Blue light is high-intensity light with short wavelengths that can be both beneficial and harmful to the eye.
When it comes to the positive aspects, the main one is that this makes the sky look the bright blue we are used to. On the negative side, however, it can cause hazy vision and glares, and long-term exposure can be quite harmful to your eyes.
While you may have heard that this type of light comes from technology, you may not know that the sun is actually the biggest producer of this light wave. Even though the sun is the biggest culprit, it’s the fact that we have our digital devices so close to our faces for multiple hours a day, that makes them a larger threat. When your eyes absorb this light wave, it suppresses melatonin, which is the hormone in your body that gets you sleepy once the sun goes down. This can be beneficial during the day when you want to stay awake while on the clock. However, when it comes to bedtime, this can disrupt your sleeping patterns, and keep you awake for longer. This disruption can cause you to have issues falling asleep, which causes further problems in the morning.
Why Should I be Concerned?
When you spend a ton of time staring at a screen, your eyes become exposed to a large amount of blue light rays. There are several studies that show that this can disrupt your wake/sleep cycle and cause sleep issues. In addition, the focus that is needed while using digital devices, especially on our small phone screens, can cause another issue known as digital eye strain.
Symptoms of digital eye strain can include itchy, dry, and tired eyes. As well as blurred vision and headaches. You may even feel that your eyes cannot be open for another minute. If prolonged, this can create issues such as age-related macular degeneration farther down the road.
How Can I Protect Myself from Blue Light?
Proper eyewear is the number one way of protecting your eyes from some of the side effects of blue light exposure. Here are some tips that we recommend for further protection:
- Practice the 20-20-20 rule. This rule is that every 20 minutes or so, stop staring at your screen and shift your gaze at something 20 feet away and focus on that object for 20 seconds. You can also blink your eyes 20 times quickly after doing that for an added refresher.
- When using your tablet, computer, cell phone, or other devices, wear blue light glasses. These can help protect your eyes and ease the strain on your vision.
- When outdoors, make sure to wear sunglasses with lenses that block 99-100% of UV radiation and 75-90% of visible light.
Also having your regularly scheduled eye exam is a great way of ensuring that your vision is the best that it can be. Give our team at Brush Optical a call today and we can make sure you get an appointment in our Paducah, KY office.