The Effect of Blue Light on Your Eyes
Looking at a screen all day might have you wondering how all that bright light is affecting your eyes.
While digital eyestrain can cause temporary discomfort, studies suggest that high intensity blue light from screens may damage your eyes permanently.
What is blue light?
Blue light is visible light with a wavelength between 400 and 450 nanometers (nm) on the visible light spectrum. Laptop, smartphone and tablet screens all emit high levels of blue light.
Blue light has more energy per photon than other colors in the visible spectrum such as orange or red. The higher energy level means it has more chance of causing damage to cells, particularly the more sensitive cells in our eyes.
Now we regularly spend long periods of time in front of and close to screens. As a result, the effects of blue light are becoming an important health concern.
The effect of blue light on your eyes
Is blue light affecting your eyes for the long-term? The short answer: maybe.
While blue light exposure is known to contribute to sleep-cycle disruption and digital eye strain, the question of whether blue light damages your eyes permanently is less clear.
Our eyes are not designed to block blue light. This means that pretty much all visible blue light passes through the cornea and lens of our eye, and reaches the retina.
High-intensity blue light from any source is potentially hazardous to the eye. That’s why industry sources of blue light are purposely filtered or shielded to protect users: welding masks protect against retinal damage from exposure to bright light.
A recent study by the University of Toledo demonstrates that blue light triggers chemical reactions that could be toxic to cells in the retina of the eye.
“We are being exposed to blue light continuously, and the eye’s cornea and lens cannot block or reflect it,” says Dr. Ajith Karunarathne, assistant professor in the UT Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry,
“It’s no secret that blue light harms our vision by damaging the eye’s retina. Our experiments explain how this happens, and we hope this leads to therapies that slow macular degeneration.”
Since looking at screens all day is a relatively new phenomenon there is still no conclusive evidence to prove that long-term exposure to blue light does or does not damage your eyes.
That said, there are an increasing amount of studies that are suggesting links between blue light exposure and long-term eye damage.
Protect your eyes from blue light
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