How much time do you spend in front of a digital device, be it a computer, a tablet, a smartphone or another type of screen? Probably a good few hours each day. Studies have shown that the amount of time we spent looking at screens has risen steadily over the last few years, and during the current Covid-19 pandemic, we have been forced to rely on technology to keep us connected – to colleagues, friends and loved ones, ramping up our screen time even more.
Digital devices may be invaluable at the present time, but prolonged and persistent use isn’t necessarily good news for our health. Not only does it make us more sedentary and affect our posture but spending increasing hours in front of a screen also increases our exposure to blue light – something which can have significant consequences for our vision and our overall wellbeing.
Blue light is a color in the visible light spectrum. Our biggest source of blue light is the sun, which provides the natural blue light that we need to function properly and enjoy good health. Some of the positive aspects of blue light include:
Regulation of our circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle)
Improved cognitive function, including attention and memory
Boosted mood, with blue light therapy, often being used to treat certain types of depression such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
However, digital devices also emit blue light, albeit artificial and when we spend long periods of time in front of such screens, we can suffer from overexposure which actually has negative consequences. These include:
Digital eye strain: a condition characterized by temporary discomfort caused by prolonged screen use. Symptoms include head and neck pain, headaches, dry eyes, and eye fatigue.
Sleep problems, caused by disruption to our natural circadian rhythm. This can lead to daytime fatigue that can potentially risk your safety and the safety of others around you.
Increased risk of macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma.
Potential faster progression of myopia (nearsightedness).
Fortunately, it is possible to counteract the effect of excessive screen use, thanks to digital screen protection in the form of blue light lenses.
As you may have guessed from their name, blue light lenses are a special type of lens that can be placed into prescription or non-prescription glasses and is designed to filter out some of the blue light that is emitted by artificial devices such as computer screens. There are different types of lenses, and how much blue light is blocked will depend on the type of lenses that you choose.
If you spend a reasonable amount of time using digital devices, such as if you work on a computer, you play video games or you simply sit online for more than a few hours each day, you could benefit from wearing blue light lenses.
If you are interested in finding out more about blue light lenses and their benefits, don’t hesitate to contact our family eye care center in St. Marys, OH today at (419) 800-0400 to schedule an appointment with our knowledgeable team.