What is Blue Light and How Does it Impact Your Eyesight?

Visible light has a wide range of wavelengths and energy. Blue light is the part of the visible spectrum that has the shortest wavelengths and highest energy – the opposite of red light. Because of the intense energy, blue light has the potential to cause harm to the eyes.

Blue light is everywhere and the eyes aren’t very good at blocking it, so it’s important to reduce your risk. The most common places where you can pick up blue light are from electronic devices, fluorescent lighting, LED lights and the sun.

Let’s explore some facts about blue light, how it impacts your vision and the best ways to prevent damage.

Facts About Blue Light You Need to Know

Sunlight is the main source of blue light. The majority of blue light you get comes from being outside during the day. However, there are artificial sources of blue light, including computer screens, smartphones and LED lights. If you spend a lot of time outdoors or in front of a computer, it’s possible that you’re doing damage to your eyes.

The retina is especially sensitive to blue light. The cornea and lens do an effective job of blocking UV rays, but essentially all of the light that passes through these areas reaches the retina. This can contribute to digital eye strain, headaches and fatigue. But it can also do more damage by increasing the risk for macular degeneration.

Macular degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss among older Americans. This disease causes central vision loss. You may notice shadowy areas or fuzziness in the center of the field of vision. Additional symptoms include difficulty seeing in low-light conditions and glare sensitivity.

How to Protect Your Vision from Blue Light

Not all blue light is bad. Some blue light exposure is essential for good health – it’s more the long-term exposure you need to watch out for. If you’re someone who spends a lot of time outdoors or works on a computer, there are some steps you’ll want to take to protect your vision. These include:

  • Apply a blue light filter to the screens of your devices
  • Wear blue light blocking glasses when working at a computer
  • Ask your eye doctor about prescription computer glasses if you have nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism
  • Consider adding anti-reflective coatings to your eyeglasses or computer glasses
  • Look into all-purpose prescription glasses with photochromic lenses

Concerned about Blue Light? Make an Appointment with Your Ophthalmologist!

For more information and recommendations on how to protect your eyes from blue light, schedule an appointment with your eye specialist. Empire Retina Specialists is a Brooklyn-based practice that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of retinal diseases. Contact us today if you’re worried about blue light, macular degeneration or anything else with your vision.