Our digital world puts us all in front of some sort of screen for some portion of our day, almost every day. The growth of technology becoming part of our daily routine has impacted our lives in ways unknown to previous generations. What we want to you know is how staring at a screen almost constantly affects your eyesight.
Televisions, computers, smartphones and tablets all put us in front of screens that emit a significant amount of blue light. In a rainbow of coloured light, red is at one end of the rainbow and blue is at the other. Red light contains less energy, and blue light contains more energy. Right next to the visible blue and violet light is the ultra violet light that we can’t see. This UV light has so much energy that not only does it burn our skin, it can cause cataracts and even macular degeneration in our eyes. That’s why Dr. Doig has been recommending UV protection in his patient’s eyeglasses since he began practicing in 1996.
As our screen time has increased through the decades, vision scientists have discovered that the high energy blue light emitted from the screens we use also affect our vision. While the debate is not yet settled about the risks of cataract and macular degeneration from blue screens, we do know that the blue light from screens can disturb our sleep patterns.
We all have a gland in the brain called the pineal gland which regulates our sleep cycle. The pineal gland takes a signal from the amount of blue light in the environment, much like how a bright blue sky means it’s time to get up and get our work done. When the sun sets, the sky turns red and gold and yellow before the sun goes down. When the blue light in the environment disappears, the pineal gland takes its cue to tell our bodies it’s time to get ready for sleep. Unfortunately, all our screen time means that the blue light signal for wakefulness continues long into the evening, so we never really get an appropriate wind down time.
For patients who need to protect themselves from excess exposure to High Energy Blue Light, Doig Optometry can provide lenses with blue filtering coatings that reduce blue light exposure by 15-25%. We also have lens materials that absorb up to 95% of all blue light for complete protection.
If you are concerned that you may need High Energy Light Protection, be sure to discuss your screen time with Dr. Doig at your next eye exam or call us at 403-333-3353.