Blue Light and Eye Health

Most people are aware that sunlight contains visible light rays and invisible ultraviolet rays that can burn the skin.  While ultraviolet radiation, in moderation, has beneficial effects, such as helping the body manufacture adequate amounts of vitamin D, these rays also can also cause sunburned eyes — a condition called photokeratitis or snow blindness.

Here are important things you should know about blue light.

1. Blue light is everywhere

Sunlight is the main source of blue light but there are also many indoor sources of blue light, including lighting and flat-screen TVs.

2. HEV light rays make the sky look blue

The light rays on the blue end of the visible light spectrum disperse more easily than other light rays when they encounter molecules in the atmosphere, making the sky look blue.

3. The eye is a not a good blue light blocker

Virtually all visible blue light reaches the retina.  However, Sunglasses that block UV completely are essential to protect the eye from damage that could lead to serious eye diseases, and even cancer.

4.  Blue light exposure may increase the risk of AMD

Research has shown that too much exposure to blue light can damage cells in the retina, causing changes that resemble those of macular degeneration.

5. Blue light contributes to digital eye strain

Because high energy blue light disperses more easily than other visible light, it is not as easily focused.  The eye’s contrast is reduced when you're looking at computer screens and other digital devices which can contribute to digital eye strain.

6. Blue light protection after cataract surgery

Ask your surgeon what type of intraocular lens will be used and how much blue light protection it provides. You might also consider eyeglasses that have lenses with a special blue light after your surgery.

7. Blue light isn’t all bad

Research has shown that high-energy visible light boosts alertness, helps your memory, elevates mood and is important in regulating the body's sleep cycle.

To avoid digital eyestrain caused by blue light it is recommend to wear eyeglasses that cut blue light. On your next visit to your eye care practitioner ask for lenses that protect from harmful blue light but allows good blue light to pass.

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