Blue light has become a bad rap and is to blame for sleep deprivation and damage to the eyes. Personal electronics emit blue light more than any other color. Blue light has a shorter wavelength, which means it is high energy and can damage the eye’s delicate tissues. It travels through the eye to the retina, a collection of neurons that convert light into synapses, which are the basis of vision.
Laboratory studies have revealed that exposure to high-intensity blue light can damage cells in the rat’s retina. But epidemiological studies of real people tell a different story.
As an assistant professor of optics at Ohio State University, I teach optical research, including working with the retina. I also see patients in college teaching clinics. Often, my patients want to know how to keep their eyes healthy even when they are staring at a computer screen all day. They often hear about “blue-block” glasses that are advertised on the Internet. But blue light is not your biggest concern when it comes to protecting your vision and keeping your eyes healthy.
One way to visualize blue light and damage the retina is to consider the sun. Sunlight is mostly blue light. On a sunny afternoon, it’s 100,000 times brighter than your computer screen. However, several human studies have shown that exposure to sunlight and age-related eye degeneration is a disease of the retina that causes central vision loss. Staying outside on a sunny afternoon won’t damage the human retina, and neither can your dark-skinned tablet. A theoretical study has recently reached that conclusion.
Why, then, is the disconnect between the effects of blue light on rats and human eyes?
The human eyes are different than the rats. We have protective elements such as eye pigment and natural blue-blocking capability of the spherical lens. These structures absorb blue light before reaching the retina. They are more beneficial than protecting your eyes from the blue light of the sun. For example, wearing sunglasses slows down cataracts.
Feeling the blues
Blue light does not damage your retina, and your electronics are harmless, or blue light does not affect your eyes. Due to its wavelength, blue light disrupts the physiology of healthy sleep. Blue-light sensitive cells, also known as the ganglion cells or ipRGCs in the inner photoreceptor retina, play a crucial role because the central clock in the brain tells how light it is in the environment. This means that when you look at a bright, bright screen, these cells help keep your internal watch at the daytime level.
Therefore, eliminating blue light alone does not cut it during sleep improvement; You need to darken all the colors.
Regarding your tired eyes after spending a long time seeming at your computer – another common complaint I hear from my patients – blue light isn’t the only thing responsible for it. A new study found that turning off the blue light does not improve people’s reported comfort, rather than dimming the screen after a long computer session.
Does blue-blocking make sense? Many patients want to know if they have to buy some products that are advertised to block the B light. Based on research, the short answer is “no”.
the fact is that any bright light close to sleep interrupts sleep. Evidence shows that screen time before bed increases sleep time compared to reading a paper pocket. Rapid eye movement steals you from sleep, disturbs the brain, and reduces brain activity the next day. Keeping your phone close to your eyes when the lights are on can exacerbate the problem.
Second, many of the products my patients ask for are not blocking B light. The leading blue-blocking anti-reflective coating, for example, prevents about 15% of the emitting blue light.
You can get that reduction by holding your phone one more inch from your face. Try it now and see if you see a difference. No? Not surprisingly, a recent meta-analysis concluded that blue-blocking lenses and coatings do not significantly affect sleep quality, computer comfort, or retina health.
There are ways to make your screen view more comfortable and more sleep-friendly. First, turn off your electronics before bed. Bedrooms should be “screen-free” zones for children, but we should all follow these tips. Outside the bedroom, reduce the brightness when looking at your screens.
For eye strain, make sure you have a suitable glass or contact lens prescription. You may only provide this information to an ophthalmologist or ophthalmologist.
You should also take care of the surface of your eyes. Our blink rate drops from 12 to six blinks per minute. As a consequence, tears evaporate from the eyes and do not recur until we step out of the screen and open our eyes. This causes inflammation on the surface of the eye. This is why your eyes become dry and tired after spending a day on the computer. I advise my patients to take two steps to keep their eyes moist during long computer sessions.