Can the Blue Light from Your Cell Phone Hurt Your Eyes?

shutterstock_183726968Many people spend the overwhelming majority of their days staring at a screen — whether it belongs to a smartphone, tablet, computer or television. You might be interested to know how all this screen time affects eye health. The team at Bochner Eye Institute tells you what you need to know in this month’s blog post.

Understanding Blue Light

You can be exposed to blue light from many different sources: sunlight, fluorescent light, flat-screen LED televisions, computer monitors, smartphones and tablet screens. There are benefits to blue light — for example, blue light boosts alertness and helps with memory, cognitive function and mood. It also regulates circadian rhythm.

However, there are drawbacks to blue light, too. Exposure to too much blue light can disrupt the sleep cycle, causing sleeplessness and daytime fatigue. Overexposure to blue light may also damage the retina, or the inner lining at the back of the eye. This can raise the risk of macular degeneration and other vision problems.

Furthermore, blue light can cause digital eyestrain, also known as computer vision syndrome. This condition is characterized by symptoms such as blurry vision, dry eyes, headaches, sore or irritated eyes and difficulty focusing.

Play It Safe: Tips to Protect Your Eyes from Your Screen

Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes that you are on your phone, tablet or computer, look at an object that’s 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a break from screen time.

Blink often. Concentrating on a screen decreases your blink rate, which can cause the tears to evaporate from your eye and lead to dry eye. This can cause blurry vision, irritated eyes, redness and discomfort.

Use a blue light filter. Special filters are available for smartphones, tablets and computer screens that help reduce the amount of blue light you are exposed to with these devices.

Use computer glasses. Computer glasses, which have yellow-tinted lenses, can also help to block out blue light.

Turn your phone off one hour before bedtime. This helps keep your phone from interfering with your circadian rhythm.

Speak to the Team at Bochner Eye Institute

For more information about protecting your eyes from blue light, please call our office at 416-960-2020 to speak with a member of our team.