Blue-Light Protection | Need it?
Is blue light dangerous to your eyes?
You have most likely read claims that staring at your computer or phone screen is damaging to your eyes and that buying a pair of blue-light blocking glasses will protect your eyes from damage.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology spokesman, Rahul Khurana, MD, there is no evidence that looking at your digital screens are causing damage to your eyes and the Academy does not recommend any special eyewear for computer use.
In fact, blue light has beneficial effects. It helps regulate our circadian rhythm, which is our natural sleep and wake cycle, boosts alertness, elevates mood, and helps with memory and cognitive functions.
DIGITAL EYE STRAIN
If your eyes become tired, dry, or red after staring at your digital screen it isn’t from blue light, it’s just eye strain. Eye strain does not injure your eyes or cause permanent damage.
Eye strain is caused when you focus intently on something without blinking frequently enough. The remedy is not blue-light filtering glasses. Your eyes just need a rest.
TIPS FOR REDUCING DIGITAL EYE STRAIN
You can give your eyes a rest by using the 20-20-20 rule. Which means that every twenty minutes you should give your eyes a rest by looking away from your screen and focusing on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. You can also use artificial tears to alleviate any dryness you may experience from focusing too long on your digital screen.
Other tips for reducing digital eye strain are to sit at least an arm's length (about 25 inches) from your computer screen and position the screen so that you are gazing slightly downward to view the screen. You can also use a matte screen filter to reduce screen glare, and if the screen is much brighter than the surrounding light, adjust the room lighting or the contrast on your computer screen.
PROTECT YOUR EYES FROM ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT
What your eyes do need protection from is ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet light is a type of electromagnetic radiation.
Ultraviolet light is used for disinfecting surfaces because it disrupts the DNA and RNA of microorganisms and kills them, and that same disruptive ultraviolet action can act on our DNA. UV rays are what cause our skin to tan because our bodies produce more melanin to protect us.
UV light can damage the cornea, lens, and other parts of the eye and contribute to the development of some types of cataracts, growths on the eye, and possibly macular degeneration. To protect your eyes from UV exposure wear sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
We look forward to seeing you. If you have questions or want to make an appointment, please give us a call.
Gregory Scimeca, M.D.
Ophthalmologist and Medical Director