How It’s Affecting You and How You Can Prevent Damage
We are using cell phones and computers now more than ever, so it is imperative to remember the damage that these devices can cause to our eyes. This damage occurs because of blue light, which is found on all digital screens from computers to tablets to gaming systems. Shawn Stout, a physician assistant at IU Health West Hospital’s Sleep Disorders Center, shares tips for preventing damage to your eyes.
Signs of Damage Due to Blue Light
Oftentimes we spend too much time on our screens throughout the day and force our eyes to work extra hard to cope with the blue light, which can cause eye strain.
When our eyes are constantly tracking and looking at a screen projecting blue light, the stress on the eyes can lead to headaches or migraines. If you are already sensitive to light, be extra cautious when using screens for extended periods of time.
Blue light can also disrupt sleeping patterns because it interferes with our circadian rhythm, the natural release of melatonin that makes us tired. The blue light tricks our brain into thinking it is daytime, making it more difficult to fall asleep. Disruption of circadian rhythms can lead to increases in obesity, depression and poor overall health.
Over time, continued exposure to blue light can also lead to damaged retinal cells, which can cause long-term vision problems
Tips for Preventing Blue Light Damage
- Your risk of blue light damage decreases if you are proactive about prevention:
- Decrease screen time, especially at night when you are going to bed.
- Wear blue light glasses. They have yellow-tinted lenses that block blue light.
- Download a blue light filter smartphone application to help reduce glare and eye fatigue.
- Take a break from screens. Even when it’s a busy day, take frequent breaks to give your eyes rest.
- Blink more often. When staring at a digital screen, blink more times to keep your eyes moist and refreshed.