Can your eyes get damaged from blue light, using a screen?
This is a very hot topic where professionals have very strong opinions.
Digital devices, such as cell phones, computer screens, TV's emit light along the full visible spectrum including blue light. To add to that problematic, we are now surrounded by LED lights in our homes and offices , making us even more exposed to blue light.
Can blue light damage my eyes?
Yes. Blue light, or short wave length , close to the UV band is known to trigger ocular changes and be a factor in retinal damage, cataracts formation . But to allow for damage, one would have to be exposed to high levels of blue light.
Can a screen emit enough blue light to damage my eyes?
That question is up for debate. There are countless studies done on that topic and not one study has demonstrated that the levels of blue light from screens were sufficient to create damage. A more in depth article can be found here:
What are the sources of blue light?
Man made digital devices do emit blue light. But most importantly, the main source of blue light is natural light itself. Sunlight exposes people to infinitely more blue light than screens.
More on that topic:
Should I use the blue light filter on my phone?
Yes. Another more important aspect of blue light is its capacity to disrupt circadian rhythms. Naturally, our eyes are exposed to more natural blue light in the morning hours. That exposure has consequences in hormonal secretions to signal the body it's time to wake up.
When someone is exposed to blue light in the evening hours, for instance from a screen, this can give wrong information to your brain and affect your sleep/awake cycle known as circadian rhythms .
What our digital device's filter do, is cut blue light after a certain time. You will notice your phone or tablet takes on a yellow tint. That way, you can keep using your device without having negative effects and sleep soundly.
For apple device, learn how to setup the blue light filter on Apple website.
For Google Pixel check Google website.
How can I protect myself from blue light?
First and foremost, use sunglasses at all times when outside, specially in our Miami climate.
You may elect to ask your optician about blue light filters to be added to your lenses. Those types of coatings block some of the blue light from the digital devices you use. It is unclear if they protect from eye damage, because we aren't sure if the small quantity of blue light from phones or tablets is sufficient to create tissue damage. But you may consider that option to be on the safe side, blue light coatings on lenses have no negative effects on vision .
If you have more questions about blue light, make an appointment with Dr Nicolas Gilberg, your optometrist in North Miami for an eye exam. We work closely with Next Level Optical. They are experts in lenses and will guide your choice for best vision and to protect your eyes.