You may not notice it right away, but eventually the later-afternoon headaches kick in. If you, like more than half of all people, spend more than 6 hours a day in front of digital devices, the manmade blue light radiating from your screen could be permanently damaging your eyes—not to mention your lifestyle.
Approximately one-third of all visible light falls in this high-energy visible (HEV) or “blue” light category. The reason blue light hurts is because it’s one of the shortest and therefore highest-energy wavelengths and our eyes are not very good at blocking this type of electromagnetic wave.
More and more studies are concluding that with Americans spending more time than ever behind screens, we may be doing more damage than we realized.
The Vision Council tells us that 87% of Americans look at digital screen for at least two hours each day. Prolonged exposure to a computer’s blue light can lead to digital eyestrain, which often shows up as a headache, dry eyes or even blurred vision. Desktops, laptop, tablets, e-readers and smartphones are all on the danger list.
While screens only emit a fraction of the blue light that the sun releases naturally, it’s the proximity and amount of time people are directly exposed to it that add up to greater potential for long-term damage over time. It’s thought that too much time with blue light increases the risk for macular degeneration, a condition that can lead to premature or permanent vision loss.
So what can you do? Well, don’t wait. You don’t have to sit idle while new more conclusive studies come out or technology companies try to innovate in this area.
There are glasses with specially tinted lenses available right now that block these chancy rays. Blue light glasses create better contrast and can significantly increase comfort when viewing a screen during those long days on your device.