In this digital age, gadgets and other forms of technology are considered more of a necessity than a luxury. While using them has undoubtedly made everyday tasks easier, overexposure to the blue rays they emit may be harmful to your visual health.
Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry, your trusted provider of LASIK eye surgery co-management services and other eye care products, explains how too much gadget use can harm your eyes.
Blue Light and Its Effects on Your Eyes
Light consists of a band of colors that emit varying energy frequencies and wavelengths. One end holds red light while the opposite side has blue. The former has longer wavelengths but radiate less energy. Meanwhile, blue light has shorter wavelengths but stronger energy radiation. The sun is the largest source of blue energy, also known as ultraviolet (UV) rays. Other common sources include laptops, smartphones and other digital devices.
Given their high energy frequencies, blue rays easily pass through your cornea and lens, eventually reaching the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eyes, known as the retina. Researchers found that overexposure to blue light causes premature aging of your eyes, putting you at risk of having macular degeneration later on in life. Your optometrist adds that this could cause computer vision syndrome as well.
Understanding Computer Vision Syndrome
Also referred to as digital eye strain, computer vision syndrome is the visual discomfort you may feel after using your gadgets for an extended time. Your eyes may feel heavy, sore and tired. They may turn red and watery, too. You may experience blurry vision, headaches and neck and shoulder pain. Studies reveal that staring too long at your digital screens reduces your blinking rate, increasing your risk of having dry eyes.
We understand that gadgets are already part of everyday life, and it’s impractical to stop using them altogether. Fortunately, there are other ways to protect your eyes from blue light’s harmful effects, such as following the 20-20-20 rule. Every time you spend 20 minutes on your digital device, look 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Your eye care specialist may also prescribe computer eyeglasses designed to block blue rays from entering your eyes.
For more information about digital eye strain, call us today at one of our locations. You may also complete our form to request an appointment. We see patients in Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church and Reston VA.