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What is Blue Light? By Benjamin V. Clingan, OD

Prism and light

Last post, we discussed Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) and how proper ergonomics with proper blinking can improve your screen time with electronic devices. Over the next few posts, we will focus on ways to prevent possible damage from the blue light emitted from your electronic devices and LED lights.

What is BLUE LIGHT?

Back to high school physics, light is composed of photons, and those photons travel in waves. White light when separated by a prism or a refractive surface (your eye) can be isolated into different colors (think of the Pink Floyd album cover for The Dark Side of the Moon). Each color has its own specific wavelength.

As we have switched from traditional incandescent light bulbs and old generation TVs to LED lights and LED screens for cell phones, tablets, PCs, etc., the wavelengths of the light emitted has changed from longer wavelengths (reds/yellows) to shorter wavelengths (blues). This change is different from natural light sources (the Sun, fire), and scientists are discovering that there are physiologic consequences.

Follow us next time as we discuss the potential problems blue light has on our bodies and specifically our eyes. Make sure to schedule your Routine Eye Exams and feel free to schedule an appointment or visit our optical to discuss how to protect your eyes from blue light.

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Computer Vision Syndrome, Are You at Risk? by Dr. Clingan, OD

Well done!  You have just survived another holiday season.  You made sure everyone got what they wanted including all those fancy new computers, tablets, phones, video games, TVs, etc…  A common question we face a lot is, how long should I or my family be spending on our electronic devices?  While there are no hard time limits established in the scientific community, there are a few simple daily practices you can utilize to make your viewing experiences safer from ocular complications.

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is a multi-factorial problem that can lead to many eye problems or exacerbate other eye diseases like dry eye.  Common symptoms after prolonged use of electronic devices include:

  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Neck and shoulder pain

Which can result from:

  • Poor lighting
  • Glare on a digital screen
  • Improper viewing distances
  • Poor seating posture
  • Uncorrected vision problems
  • A combination of these factors

A few quick tips to alleviate some symptoms are:

  • 20/20/20 Rule
  • Blinking exercises
  • Reduce glare from overhead light or windows
  • Better ergonomics

Also, an updated glasses prescription with an anti-reflective coating is always a great place to start and enhance your viewing.  Please make an appointment today and our eye care specialists will keep your eyes healthy in this digital age.

For further education click on these links and videos below:

https://www.vsp.com/computer-vision-syndrome.html

https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/protecting-your-vision/computer-vision-syndrome

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wMqzF6_q9s

Low vision accessible article on computer vision syndrome: http://www.samaldesign.net/computer-vision-syndrome-digital-eye-strain-mitigating-damage/ 

Image from AOA.org