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What is blue light?

January 1, 1970

What is blue light and how does it affect your eyes?

Blue light is all around us. While we get most of our exposure to blue light from sunlight, there are many manmade sources of blue light including fluorescent and LED lighting, flat-screen TVs, computer screens, smartphones, and other digital devices. The amount of high energy visible light (blue light) given off by these devices is much smaller than the amount emitted by the sun.

Not all blue light is bad!

Some blue light exposure is good for our health — boosting our alertness, helping our memory and cognitive function, and even elevating our mood. Exposure to blue light during the daytime helps maintain a healthy circadian rhythm, our body’s natural wakefulness and sleep cycle. Early studies show that children who are not exposed enough to sunlight (and blue light) are at a higher risk of developing myopia. However, if you’re spending most of your days staring at a computer screen or on your smartphone, your eyes could need additional protection.

How much time do you spend staring at screens every day?

While the numbers vary, it’s been estimated 60% of people spend more than 6 hours a day looking at screens. Often, we hold these screens close to our faces, which raises concerns about the long-term effects of this additional exposure to blue light.

While more research is still needed to determine how much blue light is “too much blue light” for the retina, there’s a growing concern about the amount of blue light we’re being exposed to from screens on a daily basis. Here’s why.

Blue light may cause digital eye strain

As blue light has the shortest, highest-energy wavelengths in the visible light spectrum, it scatters more easily than other visible light and causes flickering. This kind of flickering creates a glare that reduces the visual contrast of the images we see. This unfocused digital “noise” may cause eyestrain, headaches, and physical and mental fatigue after long periods of exposure to electronic screens.

What can you do to protect your eyes from too much blue light exposure?

First, reduce the brightness of your screens by using screen filters and apps that filter the blue light from screens without affecting visibility. Take frequent breaks from screens to give your eyes a rest (using the 20-20-20 rule – for every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen, you should look away at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds).

For effective protection against blue light exposure, choose Shamir’s Blue Zero material for your prescription lenses. It offers built-in blue light protection, blocking just the right amount of blue light to keep your eyes healthy, while providing high visual clarity and color perception.

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