Blue Light Protection for Better Eye Health

Blue Light Protection
for Better Eye Health

We rely heavily on screens for most day-to-day functions. In offices and schools, we sit in front of computers and stare at the monitor for several hours at a time. Even at home, many of us use tablets or laptops for leisure. In addition, most people these days spend a lot of time on their cellphones. They could be texting, watching videos, posting on social media, playing games and so on.

The constant exposure to artificial light can have damaging effects on vision and eye health. It is the blue light which emits the most energy of all colors that can cause harm.

Blue Light Protection
for Better Eye Health

We rely heavily on screens for most day-to-day functions. In offices and schools, we sit in front of computers and stare at the monitor for several hours at a time. Even at home, many of us use tablets or laptops for leisure. In addition, most people these days spend a lot of time on their cellphones. They could be texting, watching videos, posting on social media, playing games and so on.

The constant exposure to artificial light can have damaging effects on vision and eye health. It is the blue light which emits the most energy of all colors that can cause harm.

What Is Blue Light and Why Is It Harmful?

Light is made up of several different colors. Each of these colors has a corresponding wavelength and energy. Red light has the lowest energy, followed by orange, yellow and so on. This energy gradually increases through the spectrum. This means that the blue color, which is at the opposite end, has the highest energy among all the colors of visible light. Next to the blue wave is the ultraviolet (UV) light which can be harmful in many ways.
Since blue is already near the edge of visible light, its frequency is already very close to UV light. If you only get minimal exposure, blue light will not really affect you that much. But if you spend a lot of time using computers, cell phones and tablets, this article should serve as a wake-up call. You need to have some kind of protection to keep yourself safe from the possible damages caused by blue light.

Potential Health Risks from Blue Light

Before we go into the potential dangers of blue light, let us first get a few facts clear about its nature. First of all, blue light is not intrinsically bad. In fact, exposure to natural blue light is good for promoting memory, alertness and other cognitive processes in the brain. It is also a vital part in many light therapy programs. Blue light is also an effective form of treatment for SAD or seasonal affective disorder. However, it is only beneficial when you get it in the right wavelengths. If you get too much of it, you can sustain many kinds of damages in your body, particularly the eyes.

According to research, blue light is largely responsible for many kinds of eye strains and headaches that people feel after prolonged use of screened gadgets. Many studies have also confirmed the link between blue light and migraines, as well as vision problems. Here are some of the biggest health risks that come from blue light.

Causes Premature Aging in the Eyes

The human eye is naturally very good at blocking UV rays. Even without protective eyewear, only 1% of UV rays make their way through the surface of the eye and into the back parts. This is because the cornea and the lens are very effective in filtering these harmful rays.

With blue light, on the other hand, the eye does not really filter it at all. In other words, blue light can easily reach the retina at the back of the eye. This kind of exposure can make the eye age significantly faster than it normally should.

Increases the Risk of Macular Degeneration

According to experts at the Schepens Eye Institute, blue light can speed up macular degeneration, especially in people who are 65 years old and above. These are serious damages on the retina which can eventually lead to permanent loss of vision. Older people are naturally at a higher risk for this eye condition. However, exposure to blue light can greatly increase the risks.

Contributes to Digital Eye Strain

Blue light tends to scatter more freely than other colors. So even if you are focused on a particular area while looking at a computer or phone screen, the scattered blue light from other parts of the screen will create noise in your field of vision. This takes away from your focus and causes your eyes to strain in order to see more clearly.

Disrupts the Natural Sleep Cycle

Studies have shown that blue light can disrupt the body’s natural sleeping and waking cycle or circadian rhythm. Exposure to blue light inhibits your body’s natural production of melatonin 8. This is a hormone that the body naturally produces during bedtime and causes you to feel sleepy. Without this hormone, you will stay awake and alert. You will not be able to get the right amount of sleep that your body needs to stay healthy.

This is one of the reasons why health experts often advise people with sleeping problems to avoid using electronic devices shortly before bedtime. In addition, the disruption of the circadian rhythm also leads to other health problems. Among these are increased blood sugar, heart disease, diabetes, depression and obesity.

Can Cause Mild to Severe Migraines

Scientific studies have shown that frequent exposure to blue light can lead to oxidative stress. It is a long known fact that oxidative stress causes migraines. Many experts speculate that the migraines arise as a form of defense mechanism to help the body fight oxidative stress. Thus, the higher one’s exposure to blue light, the higher their chances of suffering frequent and even chronic migraines.

How to Keep Yourself Safe from Blue Light Damage

Blue light issues are getting more serious with the rising use of gadgets. However, it is good to know that there are also several things that you can do on your own to keep yourself safe and protected from blue light damage. These are very simple habits that you just have to get used to in your day-to-day activities, especially when using screens.

Limit Screen Time at Night

Blue light tricks your body into thinking that it is not time to sleep. Thus, your body will not produce melatonin, which is the hormone that makes you feel sleepy. What you can do is to put your gadgets away at least 2 hours before your intended bed time. By doing this, you can allow your body to follow its natural rhythm and maintain a regular sleep pattern.

Turn off Bright Lights before Sleeping

Fluorescent lights are also a source of blue light. By turning them off at bedtime, you can let your body rest more thoroughly. If it is impossible to turn off the lights, like if you are sharing the space with someone else who is not yet sleeping, you can simply wear an eye mask to shield your eyes.

How to Keep Yourself Safe from Blue Light Damage

Blink Often When Looking at Digital Screens

Many people have the unconscious habit of not blinking their eyes for long periods when looking at the laptop or cellphone. This creates an unbroken exposure to blue light that further increases the risks for problems like eye strain. You can reduce the risk for these issues by blinking your eyes often.

Take Frequent Breaks when Using Computers

Like blinking, frequent breaks from the screen are very effective in preventing digital eye strain. You may have heard of the 20-20-20 rule promoted by eye experts. After every 20 minutes of looking at a computer screen, you should look at something 20 feet away from you for at least 20 seconds. It’s a very simple solution but also surprisingly one of the most effective for preventing blue light damage.

Take Health Supplements for Eye Health

We all know that supplements are not medication but they can be very helpful in boosting the health of your eyes. In particular, you should pick a supplement that can boost the macular pigment in your eye.

Tools That Give Protection from Blue Light

In light of the growing awareness of the dangers of blue light, manufacturers have already come up with various tools that you can use to keep yourself protected. Here are some of the more popular ones that you can use.

Built-In Features in Electronic Devices

A lot of phone manufacturers have taken it upon themselves to include features in their products that will protect the users. For instance, the Night Shift feature of the iPhone and iPad now comes with a Blue Light Reduction option that you can turn on or off.

Filters

There are also screen filters and similar accessories to use on your gadgets. These filters now come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some of them are separate accessories that you simply place over your phone or tablet. Others are designed to be attached to the phone, like tempered glass, which also protects the screen from scratches. These filters are readily available in electronics shops.

Blue Light Filter/Blocking Glasses

Blue light filter glasses are probably the most practical way to  protect your eyes from blue light damage. They will protect you no matter what kind of devices you are using. You won’t have to worry about fitting your gadgets with filters. The blue light filter glasses will give you all the protection at all times. Blue light lenses are usually available without any prescription from the eye doctor, unless you require vision correction.

Benefits of Blue Protect Lenses

Just like the other tools and preventive measures, blue protect lenses are effective in keeping eyes safe from blue light damage. Many eye specialists agree that blue protect lenses are the best way to protect your eyes. There more advantages of blue protect lenses:

ZEISS Blue Light Filter Solutions

Many eyewear manufacturers have already gotten onto the bandwagon and produced their own line of protective lenses against blue light. But naturally, you would want only the best kind of protection for your eyes.

ZEISS Vision Care is a highly reputable international developer and producer of world-class eyeglasses. Their facilities are located all over Europe, North America, Australia and Asia and they have outlets in more than 50 countries. When it comes to blue light protection lenses, ZEISS is the leading name that is trusted by eye specialists all over the world. Here are some of their renowned solutions that you might want to consider for your own use.

ZEISS DuraVision BlueProtect

This is a specially designed coating whose main purpose is to partially prevent the penetration of harmful blue light into the eyes. What it actually does is to reduce the energy of blue light from 390-440 nanometers. So it actually still lets in some blue light into the eyes but only the kind that is healthy for the body and the eyes.

This technology is highly suitable for indoor use. For office workers or students who spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer, the ZEISS DuraVision BlueProtect coating can provide substantial protection. It is also very low maintenance, easy to clean and comes with a top-quality hard coat.

ZEISS Skylet and PhotoFusion

These are state-of-the-art lenses that are self-tinting and provide appropriate levels of protection for varying levels of blue light. The tint can go from very light to very dark within seconds. As if that impressive feature is not enough, the ZEISS Skylet and PhotoFusion also provide 100% UV protection.

The damages that blue light can cause may be severe and long-lasting. Fortunately, the ways to prevent these damages are very easy and accessible. By taking action as soon as possible and choosing your preferred solution, you can avoid many eye problems and even improve your overall health.

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