Eye doctors in New York, NY, Dr. Alan Schlussel & Christine Law O.D. answer common questions about blue light protection.
Q: What is Blue Light?
Blue light is part of the visible light spectrum closest to the UV spectrum. Blue light is comprised of high energy wavelengths that are found outside in the sun and daylight, as well, as artificially in the form of digital screens and lights, especially LED and fluorescent lighting. Certain wavelengths (blue-turquoise) within the blue light spectrum help regulate our sleep cycles and mood. Prolonged exposure to other blue wavelengths (blue-violet) can be harmful to the posterior parts of the eye and may lead to macular degeneration.
Q: What are the negative effects of Blue Light?
Modern day lifestyles have altered and increased our exposure to blue light. Prolonged exposure to blue light, particularly at night, can have negative effects on our sleep patterns, especially through the use of digital devices (phones, tablets, TV, etc). Moreover, due to the efficiency and cost savings associated with LED's, this lighting has become more prevalent in offices, homes and even streetlamps, further exposing us to the effects of blue light. These combined can lead to irregular sleep patterns, as well as increasing our risk to potential eye diseases, in particular macular degeneration.
Q: How can we counter the negative effects?
We can limit our exposure to blue light by using lenses with blue-filtering capabilities to limit some of our exposure. We can apply night-time settings on our phones or tablets that will alter the screen color to a warmer color to help especially offset some of the blue light exposure. One can also limit digital screen usage about 1-2 hours before bedtime.
Q: What can an eye doctor do to help me protect my eyes from blue light exposure?
Optometrists are valuable resources to discuss issues surrounding blue light and can be consulted to give a more custom approach to help limit blue light exposure in your office or home.
Q: What is the relationship between Computer Vision Syndrome and Blue Light?
Blue light, because of its shorter wavelengths, tends to scatter light more diffusely. This scattering of light can cause digital eyestrain and glare from prolonged screen usage. This can lead to eyes that feel fatigued, tired, sandy and gritty as our eyes are constantly forced to compensate.