We spoke with Dr. Eckard about Blue light:
What is Blue Light?
Dr. Eckard: This is light given off by energy-efficient light sources such as LED and fluorescent bulbs. Blue light is also given off by common electronic devices such as computer monitors, e-readers, cell phones and HD tv’s, etc.
What are the negative effects of Blue Light?
Dr. Eckard: Blue light causes increase eye fatigue and strain after prolonged exposure to cell phone screens and computer monitors. Studies have shown that blue light exposure can disrupt circadian rhythms of the body causing poor sleep patterns. The circadian rhythms are affected due to lower levels of melatonin secretion following the prolonged blue light. This has been linked to changes or spikes in blood sugar at night as well as increased cancer risks due to lower levels of melatonin.
How can we counter the negative effects?
Dr. Eckard: People can limit their exposure to sources of blue light when possible. It is recommended to avoid blue light emitting sources approximately 2 to 3 hours prior to bedtime. When possible, using natural light sources can be preferable to blue light. Blue light blocking lenses can be worn to block exposure of blue light while working on computers and phones, etc. Also, reducing computer usage when possible can reduce these effects as well as lessen eye strain.
What can an OD do to help me in this area?
Dr. Eckard: Eye doctors can counsel patients on appropriate types of lighting, recommended break times from near related activities such as computer and phone use. They also can prescribe blue light blocking lenses in the appropriate prescriptions to allow patients to be better protected from the harmful effects of blue light.
What is the relationship between Computer Vision Syndrome and Blue Light?
Dr. Eckard: Computer vision syndrome is associated with eye fatigue and strain after prolonged computer use. Blink rates slow down while working on digital devices causing an increase in tear evaporation. This often leads to inflammation and dryness that is seen with redness and burning. Also, many patients experience blurred vision and headaches after computer use. The harsher effects of the blue, black and white lights that are emitted from digital devices cause most of the strain and fatigue that patients experience.
What type of lenses/eyewear do you offer to combat the negative effects of Blue Light?
Dr. Eckard: Our office uses Vision-Ease Clear Blue Filter lenses. We also recommend the use of non-glare (anti-reflective coatings) as well to help reduce eye fatigue and strain for both digital device use and night driving.
Find out more about Allergies, Dry Eyes and Contacts from your Tulepo team of eye care professionals.