As digital devices are being used more frequently, people are increasingly becoming aware of the negative effects that excessive blue light might have. Tom Chang MD recently discussed lifestyle changes that people can take to reduce their exposure to blue light.
Digital Devices Give Off Blue Light
Blue light is visible light that falls within a specific wavelength range. Although it’s naturally occurring in sunlight, people haven’t been exposed to large amounts of it until recently. Digital devices ranging from televisions to tablets all give off blue light, and the blue light from them is absorbed directly at close range.
The long-term effects of blue light are still being studied by ophthalmologists, but there is mounting evidence that it’s not good for the eyes. In short, excessive amounts of blue light over a prolonged period of time can lead to deterioration of the eyes and reduced function.
Remote Learning Creates Concerns About Children and Blue Light Exposure
Tom Chang MD notes that blue light exposure is a particular concern for children, and that concern has been even more pronounced by the accelerated transition to remote learning this year. While the transition to remote learning during a pandemic is certainly understandable and likely wise, permanently switching to remote learning could cause blue light-related issues.
Remote learning increases children’s blue light exposure because laptops and tablets are used so much for school. That exposure occurs for prolonged periods of time each school day, and the exposure is occurring at younger ages. It’s unknown what far-reaching effects blue light exposure might have on children’s eyes.
Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Blue Light Exposure
For people who share this concern about blue light exposure (in adults or children), Dr. Tom Chang MD has several suggested lifestyle changes that people can make.
Unplugging is the best way to reduce how much blue light the eyes absorb. As hard as it can be, walking away from the computer is the best thing to do for our eyes. Dr. Tom Chang MD suggests leaving devices in a specific room if the temptation to check in is too strong. Going outside, of course, is also always a good idea.
Many operating systems now have a nighttime mode, and even some websites have a dark mode option. These filters remove some of the light that screens emit. They create a slightly more yellow appearance on many pages, but most users become accustomed to that.
Blue light lenses are also available for further blue light reduction. For people who want to explore this option, an ophthalmologist can provide more information.
Raising Awareness of Blue Light
For Tom Chang, MD, blue light is a concern that people should be aware of. His aim isn’t to raise alarm. Instead, he hopes to educate so that people can take appropriate steps in this digital age.