Most of us spend a lot of time with eyes locked on a screen of some sort – computer at work, TV to unwind, smartphone or ipad to keep us busy while we unwind… This excessive percentage of open-eye time dedicated to blue light emitting screens is unhealthy in a few ways. Beyond that, we are exposed to lighting sources such as LEDs and fluorescent lamps which also emit blue light. There’s some evidence emerging which suggests that the blue light that we’re exposing our retinas to may be causing long-term damage and lead to age-related macular degeneration.
So what do we do about it? Like anything else, I believe that if it’s at low cost to us, it’s worth investing in preventative measures to protect our long-term health, even if the research is still unclear at this point.
Steps you can take to clean up blue light:
- Reduce your screen time! If possible clear your life of some of this clutter. Read books… REAL books! Reserve scanning social media to small sections of the day. Watch less TV. Listen to more radio or music!
- If you can’t reduce your screen time, make sure to use the 20/20/20 rule. For every 20 mins in front of a screen, look away for 20 seconds at something 20 feet away. This gives the eye muscles that had been working hard a break, and exercises the other muscles a bit. It’s like having a balanced workout instead of only working your biceps at the gym and letting your triceps wither away.
- You can purchase light screens that cover your device and filter out the damaging light rays. And there are now apps that will do this automatically – twilight app.
- You can also get eye glasses with both UV and blue light filters.
To read more in depth about blue light – The Lowdown on Blue Light: Good vs. Bad, and Its Connection to AMD