Many electronic devices like the smartphone, tablet and computer screens all contain it, and even natural sunlight has a ton of it. It’s just about everywhere one looks. It’s called blue light, and these short-wavelength, high-energy light rays can cause more harm than good when too much of them are exposed to the eyes.
Science shows that blue light is a good thing during the daylight hours as it enhances mood and attention span, but once nighttime falls, blue light takes a naughty turn by messing up the body’s natural circadian rhythm and forcing one to stay alert or to wake up.
One of the most serious conditions too much blue light can cause is the development of age-related macular degeneration. The light damages the retinal molecules and kills off the essential photoreceptor cells. When photoreceptor cells are destroyed, that is it. The cells cannot be regenerated. Macular degeneration results in significant vision loss, and sadly, it’s an incurable disease. Scientists are hoping to someday introduce a special eye drop that will protect the sensitive retinal photoreceptor cells.
The disease is growing in number yearly, especially in the United States where more than two million new cases of age-related macular degeneration are reported.
Children are growing up in a high-tech world obsessed with their electronic devices and mostly unaware of the damage blue light is quietly doing. Researchers recommend that people of all ages stop looking at their smartphones or laptops in the dark and to put on sunglasses that can filter both UV rays and blue light outside.
Digital eye strain is another issue that can develop from the over-use of looking at digital screens. The eyes get tired, start to itch or burn. It’s also difficult to keep the eyes open and to concentrate, etc. Headaches, neck strain and double vision are also common from blue light exposure emitted from a plethora of electronic devices.
One recent study found that up to 65-percent of Americans have all experienced digital eye strain symptoms. Eye care experts say the problem can be helped by wearing special computer glasses that filter blue-violet light. Eyezen, the company that manufactures the eyewear, claims their glasses can block at least 20-percent of harmful blue light.