Today, people are spending more time in front of screens than ever before. In fact, studies suggest that UK adults spend nearly half of their day looking at computers, phones and televisions!
All of this screen time is causing some worry about the effects on our eyes. One particular cause for concern is ‘blue light.’ In fact, some people are so concerned that they are investing in ‘blue light glasses’ for extra protection.
But what is blue light? Where does it come from and is it harmful or perfectly normal? And are a pair of protective blue light glasses right for you? Read on to find out more.
Can Blue Light Cause Eye Problems?
When we think of light, we’re often thinking about ‘white light.’ White light is a combination of light from across the visible spectrum, a big mix different wavelengths. These include all the common colours of the rainbow. You probably know white light better as ‘sunlight.’
Blue light is just one small part of this spectrum. We get our fair share of it from the sun. However, in recent years, more and more man-made products are emitting blue light. These include almost every kind of digital screen, whether it’s a PC, laptop, tablet, smart phone, or TV. Of course, none of these screens are quite as powerful as the sun. They only emit a fraction of the blue light that the sun does. But if adults and children sit up close to these screens all day, do we need to worry?
As blue light has a shorter wavelength than other kinds, it more easily penetrates the eye to reach the retina. Some studies show that overexposure to blue light can cause damage to light-sensitive cells, as well as the retina. However, opticians and scientists are still not too worried about blue light from our screens.
As it stands, our screens expose us to less blue light than the sun does. This means it’s very unlikely for blue light from screens to have any serious effects on our eyesight. Even so, the popularity of blue light glasses has recently grown, not least thanks to lockdown. These frames are fitted with special glasses lenses that block blue light.
Do You Need Blue Light Glasses?
Most opticians aren’t laying the blame for eye strain and fatigue at the foot of blue light. In fact, eye strain is often caused by overworked eye muscles rather than retinal damage. When using a screen, your eyes are constantly moving around and focusing – sometimes for hours at a time! Additionally, manufacturers are already taking steps to minimise the amount of blue light their screens emit. So, it looks unlikely to cause problems in the future.
These facts suggest that blue light glasses are not necessary to keep your eyes safe when using screens. You may find more effective relief for eye strain by not sitting too close to your display, using eye drops, and taking regular breaks.
Are you finding yourself sitting too close to your screen? Perhaps you need your eyes testing, or some new lenses. Visit Focus Opticians today to explore the frame and lens options available to you.