6 Effective Ways to Protect Yourself from Blue Light Eye Damage

How much time do you spend each day on a computer? How about your mobile phone? Tablet? Etc. According to a 2016 study by the Nielsen Company, adults in the United States spend an average of 10 hours and 39 minutes per day staring at some type of digital device. When compared to a similar study conducted by the company in 2015, this time period increased by an hour.

All digital devices emit "blue light," which is a low-wavelength, high-energy light that has the potential to cause long-term eye damage. Although we are exposed to blue light from other sources on a daily basis (the sun, for example), the concern with digital devices stems from their close proximity to users and the increasing amount of time they are used.

Children are especially vulnerable to blue light damage because their developing eyes absorb more than adults, putting them at greater risk.

In and of itself, blue light isn't all bad. It improves alertness and mood, supports cognitive function and memory, and aids in the body's natural sleep cycle regulation (circadian rhythm). Overexposure, on the other hand, can cause issues such as digital eyestrain (computer vision syndrome) and retinal cell damage (which can increase the risk for issues like macular degeneration).

Because digital devices play such an important role in our lives, it's unrealistic to expect you to avoid them completely. However, there are a few things that can be done to help reduce the likelihood of problems.

Here are six ways to keep your eyes safe from blue light:

1. Increase the amount of macular pigment in your eyes.

The macular pigment is the primary blue-light absorbing tissue in the eye. The macula is a thin layer of yellow tissue that sits in the very center of the eye. Lutein, zeoxanthin, and meso-zeoxanthin are the three carotenoids that make up this pigment. Supplementation can help to boost these carotenoids. When choosing nutrition to protect your eyes, look for a formula that includes all three carotenoids, such as Lumegaz.

2. Get a pair of computer glasses.

Taking frequent breaks from your computer may not always be enough to keep your eyes from straining. Consider investing in a pair of computer glasses if your eyes are particularly sensitive or if you work on computers for long periods of time. Their yellow-tinted lenses reduce digital eye strain by blocking the harmful blue light. Additionally, if the glasses are properly prescribed for the exact working distance, they can help to relax the eyes and reduce eye strain while working.

3. Lenses with an anti-reflective protective layer

In addition to the tint, looks for computer glasses that have anti-reflective lenses. By shielding against blue light reflections on both sides of the lens, the coating adds an extra layer of comfort and protection.

4. Make use of a screen filter

Applying a special screen filter to the front of the device is an easy way to help limit exposure to digital blue light. Screen filters are inexpensive and absorb a significant amount of the blue light emitted by digital devices, reducing exposure.

5. How Can IOLs Help?

IOLs are small, implantable artificial lenses that are used to treat cataracts and myopia. Blue light is protected to some extent by the natural lens of the eye. The idea that certain IOLs can filter out blue light has generated some buzz, but the evidence is mixed. To see if the claim of IOL blue light protection is true, more research is needed.

6. Give Your Eyes a Break

The simplest way to avoid digital blue light overexposure is to limit how much time you spend using them. Make sure you get away from the screen on a regular basis. The 20-20-20 rule is an easy way to start. Take a 20-minute break from your computer to look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds every 20 minutes. This technique can help you avoid eye strain while also serving as a constant reminder to limit your exposure to blue light.




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