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What Does Blue Light Do to Your Eyes?

// May 07, 2019

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Dr Robert Simmons Excel Eye

The average American spends the majority of waking hours glued to our phones. Recent studies found that on average we are spending six hours and 43 minutes a day looking at a screen.  That is nearly 7,956 days of our lives looking directly into blue light—a wavelength that has a detrimental effect on the retina of the eye. But what can be done in a screen-obsessed society like ours where it is seemingly difficult to break the nasty habit.

We sat down with Dr. Robert Simmons to discuss blue light and learn a few ways that we can protect our eyes from the damage. (Hint: Everything boils down to decreasing your exposure to the harmful effects of blue light.)

What is blue light?

Dr. Simmons: Visible light is divided into different wavelengths each producing different colors of light. The wavelengths of blue light are 400-495 nm. It is thought that blue light plays an essential role in regulating the circadian rhythm which affects the human sleep/wake cycle.

Why should we be worried about blue light then?

Dr. Simmons: Much has been made of the recent research done on the effects of blue light exposure in today’s world. In particular, it’s been found that blue light may also have a damaging effect on the retina of the eye. Much of this blue light is emitted from the sun, fluorescent and LED light bulbs and LED backlit electronic devices such as cellular phones, computer screens, and tablets.

Today most people are constantly looking at blue light which is decreasing the healthy properties of the eye and having many other detrimental consequences on our health as a society.

So, what can we do to combat the adverse effects of blue light?

Limiting the accumulative effects of blue light entering the eye is highly beneficial.

Many blue light filtering or blocking lenses are available in today’s eyeglass market. These lenses work by either absorbing the blue light or reflecting the blue light so that it doesn’t pass through the lens and into the eye so that your eye has some protection against the hours spent where blue light pours directly into your eye’s retina.

How do blue lenses work?

The lenses that absorb the blue light have an amber or yellow tint to them. This tint can have a slight effect on the perception of colors. The lenses that reflect the blue light have no specific shade to them. They have no impact on color perception.

Both types of lenses reduce the amount of blue light entering the eye. Lenses of this type in conjunction with the appropriate lens prescription can reduce eyestrain, improve sleep patterns and maintain good eye health.

How can we find our best blue lens fit?

Your eye care provider can help you choose which type of lens and lens prescription is best for you. The experts at Excel Eye Center will work with you protecting your eyes from UV rays, blue light, and other damaging exposures. Contact us to make an appointment and find the protection you need today.