Blue Light and its Impact on Eye Health

An iPad, iPhone, Macbook, and eye glasses kept on a white table in New Orleans, LA

By now, most people are familiar with the health risks associated with exposure to invisible ultraviolet (UV) light. There are warning against it’s danger on everything from contact lenses to concealer. But new research suggests that a certain portion of the visible light spectrum, including high-energy blue-violet light emitted from both natural and artificial sources, is also doing damage to our bodies.

Blue Light

 

As the use of electronics skyrockets, people of all ages and walks of life are increasingly exposed to the glow emitted from their digital devices. From computers to televisions to cell phones, most of us are almost constantly in front of screens, and therefore receiving more exposure to potentially dangerous blue light than ever before.

Exposure to screens could pose serious risks to eye health. You may know about the eye strain associated with computer vision syndrome, but there is another potentially more serious injury that could also occur. The soft glow put out by electronic devices may seem innocuous, but it actually contains the highest energy wavelength of any visible light. This type of light is powerful enough to penetrate the eye’s many natural ocular filters and can reach the back of the eye. Over time, this exposure can weaken and damage the retina, making you more susceptible to conditions such as macular degeneration.

Increased Risk for Children

 

Children are at an increased risk for injury, especially those who spend significant time with electronic devices. Many of the protective pigments that are present in adults’ eyes are not yet fully developed in children under the age of 18. Young eyes are therefore not as effective at protecting themselves as more mature eyes.

The most effective way to limit the risk posed by blue light is to limit device usage as much as possible, even in our increasingly digital and connected world. We understand that simply avoiding screens can be difficult if not impossible, that’s why we’re excited about a new generation of lenses and coatings that can reduce the wearer’s exposure to the harmful blue light they encounter throughout the day. Ask about special blue-light filtering lenses such as the Crizal Prevencia lens on your next visit.