Computer use is harmful to your eyes because it causes retinal damage. Blue light is the worst offender, a part of the spectrum broadcasted by most computer screens, smartphones, and tablets. The retina is a light-sensitive part of your eye that sends visual signals to your brain, interpreting them into what you see. Radiation from blue light causes retinal damage by emitting high-energy waves that break down molecules in the eye’s delicate cells.
Blue light is part of the visible spectrum that your eyes can see. It’s also visible in other colors, such as red and violet, if you shine it through a prism. Blue light has higher energy than other colors so it can more easily penetrate through the eyes, causing damage to the retina at the back of the eye.
Blue light affects your eye much like the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Blue light, like UV, contains high-energy waves that damage molecules inside your cells, including the retina which is partially responsible for sight. The retina contains two types of highly light-sensitive cells: rods and cones. Cones are responsible for color and detailed vision, while rods allow us to see in very low-light conditions.
These simple lifestyle changes can have a significant impact on the long-term health of your eyes:
Blue light-blocking lenses are sold commercially, but if you have prescription eyeglasses, you can add UV filters to your existing lenses. The filters use iodine to block the UV radiation and heat up at a certain temperature. That’s why you might see beads or flakes of the material in your lenses.
Taking a break from computer use every 20 minutes and staring at something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds will help protect your eyes from long-term damage. This is why office workers try to take frequent breaks when they’re working with a monitor.
Drinking lots of water and wearing a humidifier in your home can keep your eyes moist and make them less prone to dryness. Dry eyes are vulnerable to damage from retinal cells, which can break down due to dehydration.
If you don’t know your glasses prescription, consult an optometrist. Having less of a corrective lens is better than having none at all. Also, if you wear your glasses sparingly, they could be out of alignment from prolonged use or damage from your screen.
If you’re using a computer at work or home, adjusting the blue light on your screen might be possible. The blue light on many screens is a steady, low-level glow, which can damage the eyes. As a result, many manufacturers are making their screens brighter so that they don’t appear so blue in comparison.
If you have any questions or need to schedule a general eye exam, schedule an appointment at Advanced Eye Surgeons in Boca Raton, FL. Our team of ophthalmologists will be happy to discuss your eye health in more detail and discuss even more ways to protect your sight.