There is growing information regarding Blue Light (BL) emitted from LED screens of our digital devices. What is Blue Light? BL is part of the visible light spectrum.
Blue Light = Bad (HEV) Blue + Good Blue
400-450 nm 470-500 nm
Bad BL -Chronic and constant exposure can cause retinal cell death and can lead to macular degeneration
- It also supresses melatonin, increases alertness, and disrupts sleep pattern
Good BL - Is essential to our vision, the function of our pupillary reflex, and in general to human health. -Also helps to regulate our Circadian sleep/wake cycle.
Sources of Blue Light
Natural source - Sunlight
Artificial source- LED lights, CFLs
LEDs-contain about 35% of Bad Blue
CFLs-contain about 25% of Bad Blue
Sources of LEDs
- Digital devices - TVs, Computer Monitors, Smart Phones, iPods, iPads, Tablets
- 90% of our light source is from LED lights
Blue light has been shown to cause eye strain and fatigue. As well, it can be disruptive in the production of melatonin, which then effects your sleep cycle. In fact, this type of "bad" blue light can actually increase your alertness. Although essential during the day, this can make it difficult to fall asleep at night and to maintain a deep restful sleep. This is why you may have heard that it is a good idea to avoid using your digital devices at least one hour before bedtime.
As children are often exposed to these devices at an early age, and often for extended periods of time, we need to be concerned about the possible long term effects of blue light exposure. In addition, blue light has been linked to retinal disorders, such as macular degeneration. For those with a family history of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), this places them at higher risk.
Protecting Your Eyes
Who needs the most protection?
- Those who spend more than 20 minutes in the sun.
- Those who have high exposure to white LED or fluorescent light bulbs in offices and homes, frequent users of LED computer monitors, tablets, or smart phones, and those at risk for AMD, particularly those at high risk, (those with family history, smokers, etc.). Many companies are working on technology to look at harmful blue light and ways to black that and still allow healthy blue light to remain.
Blue Light Protectors
- Blue Light Blocking Lens Coating for Glasses
- Limit time on digital devices, especially at night
At Clayton Heights Optometry, we are dedicated to helping patients find preventative measures to ensure good eye health. For those patients wearing glasses, there are new options in blue blocking lens coatings.
Book your appointment today and come in to discuss your preventative options.