How Does Blue Light Damage Your Eyes?
- Pieter Maas
How harmful is blue light? – Blue light exposure from screens is small compared to the amount of exposure from the sun. However, there is concern about long-term effects of screen exposure from digital devices. This is especially true when it comes to too much screen time and screens too close to the eyes.
According to the Vision Council, 80% of American adults use digital devices more than two hours per day. Nearly 67% use two or more devices at the same time. Fifty-nine percent have symptoms of digital eye strain. Since our eyes are not good at blocking blue light, nearly all visible blue light passes through the front of the eye (cornea and lens) and reaches the retina, the cells that convert light for the brain to process into images.
Constant exposure to blue light over time could damage retinal cells and cause vision problems such as age-related macular degeneration, It can also contribute to cataracts, eye cancer and growths on the clear covering over the white part of the eye.
According to a vision study by the National Eye Institute, children are more at risk than adults because their eyes absorb more blue light from digital devices. People also tend to blink less when using digital devices, which contributes to dry eye and eye strain. Other common signs of eye strain include headaches, blurred vision, and neck and shoulder pain.
According to the Vision Council, 27% to 35% of Americans reported experiencing one of these symptoms after using digital devices.
Is eye damage from blue light reversible?
– Karunarathne and his team also introduced retinal to other cells in the body including heart cells, cancer cells, and neurons. When these retinal-infused cells were exposed to blue light they also died. No change was seen when either blue light or retinal were used alone.
The team also exposed various cells throughout the body to green, yellow, and red light — and interestingly, no results were seen. “The retinal-generated toxicity by blue light is universal. It can kill any cell type,” said Karunarathne. Part of this phenomenon may be because blue light has a shorter wavelength in comparison to other colors, and as a result, has more energy.
The extra energy can be the reason for this chemical change causing retinal-generated toxicity. “Blue light appears to damage retinal cells. It is still unclear how much blue light and for how long it’s necessary to damage these sight-seeing cells. We do know the damage is irreversible,” said Dr.
How do you fix blue light damage to your eyes?
Reducing the Effects of Blue Light Medically Reviewed by on September 16, 2022 Blue light – the kind from your smartphone, tablet, TV, and even energy-efficient light bulbs – can trigger eyestrain and lead to a range of health issues. These include cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, poor sleep, and mood disorders.
- Since ditching all digital devices isn’t a realistic option, here are a few tips to ward off blue light’s effects.
- Cut down on screen time.
- Taking regular breaks from computer or TV screens rests your eyes and limits blue light exposure.
- Every 20 minutes, look away from your screen and focus on an object 20 feet away.
Do this for at least 20 seconds. Take a break from blue light at night. Screen breaks are most important in the evening. Try to power down your devices at least 3 hours before bed. This can help stop blue light from affecting your body’s release of the sleep hormone melatonin.
More melatonin means better sleep. Get new glasses. Computer glasses with special lenses can lower exposure. The yellow-tinted lenses increase contrast on your screen, filtering blue light and easing digital eyestrain. More research is needed to know how well blue light-blocking glasses work. But one small study found that people who wore glasses with filtering lenses had less eyestrain, blurred vision and dry eyes after long screen times.
Another found that filtering lenses helped with melatonin suppression. Melatonin is the hormone that regulates sleep. Blue light slows or stops your body from releasing it. Lenses with anti-reflective coatings may also help by reducing glare, increasing contrast and blocking blue light.
Use a filter. Adding a screen filter to your smartphone, tablet and computer helps filter the amount of blue light your screens give off. Switching your devices to “night mode” may also help. The setting lowers your screen’s brightness. This can ease digital eyestrain and may even help you sleep better.
Try supplements. One small study found that taking supplements with lutein and zeaxanthin for 6 months eased eyestrain, poor sleep quality, and headaches from excessive screen time. Ask your doctor if these supplements are safe for you to take. © 2020 WebMD, LLC.
Does looking at phone damage eyes?
Does Staring at a Screen Damage Eyesight? – Perhaps when you were growing up, your parents limited the amount of television you watched because they thought it would hurt your eyes. It’s only natural then that you warned your own children to not stare for hours on end at their computer monitors, tablets, and smartphones.
Do blue leds hurt your eyes?
Will blue light from electronic devices increase my risk of macular degeneration and blindness? – Harvard Health Every day, retinal specialists are asked about the risks from blue light emitted from electronic devices. (Retinal specialists treat conditions affecting the retina, a thin tissue at the back of the eye that is responsible for vision.) Many people ask whether blue light will increase their risk of and blindness.
Do LED lights emit blue light?
LED blue light exposure – If blue light does have adverse health effects, then environmental concerns, and the quest for energy-efficient lighting, could be at odds with personal health. Those curlicue compact fluorescent lightbulbs and LED lights are much more energy-efficient than the old-fashioned incandescent lightbulbs we grew up with.
How much screen time can make you blind?
Americans spend an average of 6.3 hours a day accessing the internet on their devices. That’s a lot of online shopping. These long hours usually lead to one thing: burning, itchy, tired eyes — and fear that all this eye soreness will eventually turn us blind.
- According to Dr.
- Arvind Saini, an ophthalmologist affiliated with Sharp Community Medical Group, extensive screen use has its downsides, but blindness isn’t one of them.
- There is no clinical evidence that prolonged screen use causes permanent vision loss,” he says.
- Dry eyes and eye strain, yes.
- But nothing long term.” We asked Dr.
Saini to share some important information about TV and digital device screens, and the impact they have on our eyes. Why can screen use cause red, burning eyes? The soreness you may feel after viewing a screen is a condition called digital eye strain.
- Symptoms include dry and irritated eyes, blurry vision, watery eyes, and headache.
- Digital eye strain has less to do with the total time you are viewing a screen and more to do with the uninterrupted duration of your viewing — the amount of time you spend staring at a screen without blinking.
- In general, we blink 15 times a minute.
However, our blink rate lowers to less than 7 times a minute when looking at a screen. Less blinking leads to drier eyes, which bring on the symptoms of dry eye, such as redness and burning. Can digital eye strain cause long-term damage? There is no evidence that screens cause irreversible harm to the eye.
- Eye strain can result from anything that requires attention, such as needlepoint, reading a book, etc.
- You wouldn’t assume that doing needlepoint would damage your eyes, but because more people are on their screens these days, fears about digital eye strain have risen.
- Are some devices worse than others in causing digital eye strain? There is no difference between any of these screens from a radiation or damage perspective.
Do you have a recommendation on preventing digital eye strain? The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes of screen viewing, look away and focus on an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Make sure to blink when you do.
If your eyes still feel dry, you can use a preservative-free artificial tear. If screens truly don’t damage the eye, why do we sometimes hear medical recommendations to limit screen time? For most adults, recommendations are made to avoid the discomfort of digital eye strain. However, this can be improved by occasionally looking away from a screen while working and using eye drops.
There’s also a misconception out there that the blue light thrown off by screens can damage the eye. There is no evidence that blue light causes damage to the eye. In fact, there is more blue light absorbed from indoor fluorescent lighting and sunlight than from cellphone screens.
Where blue light can pose an issue is with a person’s sleep. In terms of your circadian rhythm, blue light is a stimulant. This means that screen time before bed can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. What about recommendations for kids? For children, experts recommend limiting screen time for a variety of reasons, none of which relate to eye damage.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for kids under 2, and no more than one hour of screen time for kids between the ages of 2 and 5. The reason is primarily based on an increased link to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in kids exposed to more than two hours of screen time a day.
- There is also a concern with childhood obesity and myopia (nearsightedness).
- Increased screen time is generally associated with sedentary indoor activities and less sunlight.
- And recently, increased sunlight exposure has been linked to decreased risk for myopia in kids.
- Given the abundance of devices we use for work, education, entertainment and communication, it can be a challenge to limit screen time for many of us.
Yet if we are aware of the downsides of excessive use, we can develop healthy screen time habits,
What makes eyesight worse?
4. Too Much Screen Time – From computers and smartphones to TVs and tablets, people spend a huge amount of time these days staring at screens. Excessive screen time can cause dry eye, as well as eye strain, which can lead to a decrease in vision clarity.
Can you reverse eye UV damage?
Is Eye Damage Treatable? – Some of the afflictions that involve your eyes can be treated or heal on their own. Common deficiencies such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism can generally be treated with corrective lenses prescribed by your eye doctor.
- Even minor trauma to the eye is treatable – minor cuts and damage to your eye that occurs as a result of physical contact will generally heal if treated promptly and properly.
- However, damage to your eyes that results from sun exposure is, unfortunately, not easily treatable.
- The retina, cornea, and macula generally remain permanently damaged when overexposed to UV light.
On the bright side, this kind of damage is easy to avoid, and the risk can be largely eliminated with simple preventive measures.
How long do the effects of blue light last?
Effects of blue light and sleep – While light of any kind can suppress the secretion of melatonin, at night does so more powerfully. Harvard researchers and their colleagues conducted an experiment comparing the effects of 6.5 hours of exposure to blue light to exposure to green light of comparable brightness.
The blue light suppressed melatonin for about twice as long as the green light and shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much (3 hours vs.1.5 hours). In another study of blue light, researchers at the University of Toronto compared the melatonin levels of people exposed to bright indoor light who were wearing blue-light–blocking goggles to people exposed to regular dim light without wearing goggles.
The fact that the levels of the hormone were about the same in the two groups strengthens the hypothesis that blue light is a potent suppressor of melatonin. It also suggests that shift workers and night owls could perhaps protect themselves if they wore eyewear that blocks blue light.