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Home » Eye Care Services » Computer Vision: Ways To Protect Your Eyes » Blue Light/High-Energy Visible (HEV) Light and Your Eyes

Blue Light/High-Energy Visible (HEV) Light and Your Eyes

Blue Light Management at Big Sky Eye Care in Hamilton, Montana

Protecting Your Eyes from the Dangers of Blue Light/High-Energy Visible (HEV) Light

According to recent studies, 60% of people spend as much as 6 hours a day in front of a digital device, whether it is a computer, tablet, smartphone, or other gadget. All of these devices emit blue or high-energy visible (HEV) light, a known cause of computer vision syndrome, sleep disruptions, and possibly other potential dangers to the eyes.  Blue light radiation is also emitted from television screens and electronic devices. Fluorescent and LED lighting, and, yes, even the sun.

What is Bluelight/Bluelight Energy?

Emitted from the sun, blue light, another name for blue light radiation, naturally occurs in the world around us. On the spectrum of visible light (light that humans can see), blue light has the highest energy and the shortest wavelength. It is also sometimes known as blue-violet or violet light, which is where ultraviolet (UV) light rays that are just beyond our perception get their name.  Like ultraviolet light, blue light has both dangers and benefits to our health, particularly our eyes.

While blue light from the sun plays a vital role in regulating our circadian rhythms and boosting alertness, prolonged exposure to artificial blue light sources can harm our eyes.

What are the Potential Dangers of Blue Light/ HEV Light?

Research is ongoing to determine the long-term effects of blue or high-energy visible (HEV) light emission. However, it is known that blue light causes computer vision syndrome (CVS) and sleep disruptions.

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) or Digital Eye Strain

The high-energy and shorter wavelengths of blue or HEV light emit a less consistent flow of light, creating a glare or flickering that can cause eye strain. Because this affects sharpness and visual contrast, the eyes have to work harder to see clearly. After extended periods of time, this can result in headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and mental and physical fatigue.

Sleep Disruptions

Natural blue light in the atmosphere is known to help regulate the body’s circadian rhythm (which controls your sleep cycles), boost your mood and level of alertness, and improve memory and cognitive function. However, prolonged exposure to artificial sources of blue light has been shown to reverse these positive effects, causing disruptions in the circadian rhythm, which affects sleep and increases the risk of depression. Studies show that using a digital device before bedtime can negatively impact the amount and quality of your sleep.

Macular Degeneration

Researchers at Harvard University have shown that over time, prolonged exposure to blue light can cause damage to the retina at the back of your eye, which may lead to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and possibly other serious health and vision problems. AMD is a leading cause of vision loss and low vision.

Blue Light Treatment in Montana

How Can You Protect Yourself from Blue Light Emissions?

As the dangers of blue light from digital devices emerge, more and more options are becoming available to protect your eyes. The eyes have a minimal natural ability to block out blue light radiation, so we must be aware of blue light exposure and how to minimize it.

Computer glasses with blue-blocking lenses, coatings, and filters are a good solution for working on a computer for long periods each day. Add anti-glare coatings with blue light protection to your regular eyeglasses and sunglasses. Additionally, filters are available for devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets to reduce the amount of blue light radiation that can reach your eyes.

The easiest way to reduce blue light exposure is to take frequent breaks when working on a computer and to reduce screen time overall.