Blue light has quickly become one of the most concerning factors when it comes to the perils of technology. Once upon a time, the conversation roamed around social, emotional, and mental health. But now, as more medical fraternities and labs find out about the harmful effects of blue light, blue light protection has become a new way of trying to evade the physical health trap.
So what are 5 ways you can protect your eyes from harmful blue light?
1. Screen Time
Regulating screen time is a simple but effective way of protecting your eyes from the blue light emitted from screens. Whether it’s an app to keep you off your phone, or physically restricting yourself from using your gadgets – a regulated screen time is a great way of protecting your eyes.
Most gadgets these days come with a “night mode”, which automatically shifts from harsh blue light to soft diffuse red light after sunset. This not only helps control the damage to the eyes and reduces eye strain, but also doesn’t affect the production of melatonin in the body.
If you’re someone who has to work in front of the screen a lot, the “20-20-20” rules is a great method of getting a break. Every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds.
2. Blue Light Filters
If your device does not have any in-built night modes, or apps, do not fret. Even if it cannot control blue light emission on its own, companies are creating attachable screens (especially for desktops, televisions, and laptops) that physically reduce the amount of blue light that comes from the screen. In fact, it’s not just about the filter. Even the angle and distance at which you keep your device can change the angle at which the light scatters and hits your eyes. So, despite add-ons to your screen, keeping a safe distance is just as vital.
3. Glasses and Lenses for Blue Light Protection
Glasses and lenses are a great way of reducing the amount of blue light that enters your eyes, not just from gadgets but also natural blue light from the sun. Brands like Crizal and Essilor are creating UV and blight light spectacle lenses for all ages (junior to seniors requiring transition lenses). These are meant to be worn outdoors for harsh, sunny days – but can also be worn indoors when there is chance of long exposure to artificial harmful blue light.
4. LED Lamps
LED lights in houses and office spaces are one of the major sources of artificial blue light that does not come from a personal gadget. Instead, it emits a blue light that everyone in the room is exposed to. Although most consumers are not aware of the harmful implications of this energy-efficient light source, vision care experts have conducted research proving the detrimental effects LED artificial lighting have on health. Thus, they are working with brands such as Dr. Lite to create the right amount of light while minimizing exposure to blue light. Dr. Lite is the first lighting company recommended by Doctors that manufacture blue light safe lamps.
5. Intraocular Lenses (IOL)
This is a unique, yet somewhat surgical solution to protecting oneself. While not a go-to method by any means, it is more like an added bonus, especially for older people who are naturally at risk for age-related macular degeneration. While the jury is still out on whether this method is 100% effective, the mechanics of it are quite simple. Intraocular lenses are the lenses surgically placed inside eyeballs to fix conditions like myopia and cataract. This artificial lens is said to protect the eyes from ultraviolet rays as well as some blue light (an ability that the human eye does not naturally possess).
Ultimately, the decisions are up to you on how you choose to protect yourself from harmful blue light. While it is good for health in small doses, the long term negative effects of blue light have been proven time and time again. Even doing something as simple as holding your device at an angle, to completely changing your approach to lighting and gadgets – your choices will ultimately decide how much risk you put yourself at. Rest assured, the market is prepared to protect you so long as you take the chance.