Usually, we perceive light to be a good thing. Without the varying wavelengths and colors of light, we actually wouldn’t even see white light. What we observe in our field of vision is the result of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet wavelengths entering the eye separately, and then joining on the retina. It’s all very fascinating if you love scientific eye trivia. But even if you don’t, light and its beautiful wavelengths is still an important matter to you.
Throughout recent history, so many advances have taken place that we can hardly keep up with them. We’ve gone from wall-mounted telephones to cellular phones the size of bricks to, now, smartphones that can do everything from give us directions to create lengthy documents. These steps forward in technology have been good for us in some ways. We can easily call someone if we’re running late, and find information on the nearest hotel or the latest movies without having to look very hard. But there is also a down side to these inventions, and they involve how light affects the eyes.
We would be hard-pressed to find ways that blue light doesn’t touch daily life, that’s how common it is. Blue light streams from our streaming devices and our phones, from LED televisions and also from LED lightbulbs. This means that the eyes are almost constantly having to absorb wavelengths of light that are some of the most energetically charged. The more energy that is absorbed, the more fatigued the eyes get. That’s why we now have a little thing called digital eye strain.
More than digital eye strain, what research has concluded about unnatural blue light is that it is behind the numerous cases of insomnia that are diagnosed each year – and also all those cases that aren’t formally diagnosed. The fact is, we are a sleepless population, a sleepy population, because of the blue light that comes from our devices.
Want to make a healthier choice for your eyes? Consider a filter for your computer screen, or for your smartphone. Glasses with a yellow tint or anti-reflective coating can also minimize the effects of blue light. One of the best practices, though, and the easiest, is to close up shop on digital devices after dark. This way, your body follows the pattern of natural day-and-night cycles.
If you experience persistent eye fatigue, strain, or dry eyes, you may benefit from professional eye care. Call Aloha Eye Clinic in Wailuku or Kihei for assistance.