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6 Ways to Protect Yourself Against the Blue Light

06 July 2023

How much time do you spend on your computer every day? What about other digital devices like your smartphone and tablet etc.?

According to statistics, an average American spends at least 10 hours and 39 minutes daily staring at a certain digital device. This is a significant increase compared to a similar study conducted 12 months ago.

The concern with prolonged use of screens is associated with the blue light that's emitted from every digital device. Blue light has a shorter wavelength and high energy that has the potential to cause problems with your vision with prolonged exposure.

In what follows, we look at why is exposure to blue light a concern and what measures you can take to protect yourself against this potentially dangerous light.

Blue Light – What is the Concern?

Blue light is the highest energy color among the seven light colors, featuring very short wavelengths. Hence, it produces much more energy than other colors of visible light.

Given the high energy emission, blue light can penetrate through our cornea and the lens of the retina. The presence of blue light in nature (in the form of sunlight) allows humans to differentiate between daytime and nighttime as a means to gauge whether it's time to wake up or sleep.

While there are other sources of blue light that humans get exposed to every day (including the sun) however, the concern with blue light emitted from digital devices is associated with the shorter distance between the light and the user. Moreover, it is also associated with the amount of time for which the eyes are exposed to blue light.

Since blue light serves an integral purpose, it is critical to get the light in the right amount. Professionals working on a computer screen or other digital devices are exposed to high levels of blue light that can cause

Eye strains,

Headaches,

Vision concerns, including loss of vision,

Sleep deprivation and

Disruptions of the circadian rhythm.

However, extensive exposure to blue light is particularly a concern for children as their eyes are still not fully developed and absorb more blue light than adults. Hence, prolonged exposure to blue light puts children at a greater risk.

Hence, it's critical to know that blue light in itself isn't harmful. It serves an integral role in establishing and maintaining circadian rhythm. However, extensive exposure to blue light can lead to the abovementioned concerns.

Since digital devices play an integral role in modern lives, it's not practical to recommend that you altogether avoid the use of digital devices. However, there are several things that you can try out to protect your eyes against the potential problems caused by overexposure to blue light.

Let's delve into some ways to protect yourself against the potential damage of blue light.

6 Ways to Protect Yourself Against the Blue Light



#1. Adjust Your Screen's Position

The best way to protect yourself against the blue light emitted from digital devices is to adjust your screen's position.

When your screen isn't appropriately placed, it strains your eyes and contributes to straining your neck and shoulder muscles as you are required to position your neck at an awkward angle for proper viewing.

A solution to this problem is to adjust the position of your screen such that it allows you to maintain a neutral body posture that doesn't strain your neck, shoulders, and back.

Set up your working screen at least 22-28" away from your eyes, so there is sufficient distance between the screen and your eyes. Moreover, set the viewing angle such that your screen is slightly tilted backward, making an angle of 110 degrees so that your screen's position doesn't strain your neck.

If your job requires you to switch between screens constantly, consider investing in dual screens that save your eyes from the hassle of constantly adjusting and readjusting to changing screens. If you are using dual screens, it's best to invest in a dual monitor mount such as Dual Monitor Mount F7D/F8LD that offers you the flexibility to adjust your screen's position at an optimal level and angle.



#2. Adjust Your Screen's Setting

You can adjust the amount of blue light emitted from your screen by changing your screen's settings.

By making the appropriate changes to your screen's setting, you can opt for warmer tones that cause lesser strain on your eyes, especially when you are working in a dark or dimly lit room.

If you don't know how to change your screen's settings, here's how you can go about it in the five most commonly used operating systems.

For Windows 10 – Adjust your screen's settings by clicking on the Start button. Type "night light" in the search bar. Follow the instructions presented to adjust the screen's settings.

For Mac Operating System - Choose the Apple menu and select System Preferences, followed by a selection of Displays. Opt for the fourth option in line, "night shift."

For Chrome Operating System – Go to settings and find the Displays section. Check the "Night Light" section that features various color temperatures and other scheduled features.

For Android– Tap on the Setting icon and navigate to "Display." Tap on "night light," which is also known as "comfort view" in certain phones,

For iOS – Go to settings and navigate to Display & Brightness. Opt for the "Night Shift" option. Some iPhones have a default feature that modifies the brightness level from sunset to sunrise. That's the case if you notice your screen changing its color to orange towards the end of the day.



#3. Use a Blue Light Screen Filter

If you are trying to protect yourself against blue light, you can also consider investing in a blue light screen filter.

Screen filters are designed to serve multiple useful purposes. While they are primarily used to limit your exposure to blue light without changing the color of your screen, many blue light screen filters are also privacy oriented which means they can limit the angles at which your screen is visible which serves as a great feature especially if you are working in but don't want others to view your screen over your shoulders.

There is limited evidence on how using blue light screen filters can mitigate your risk of macular degeneration, and more evidence is required for a definitive claim. Yet, many users of blue light screen filters find it useful for jobs that require them to spend long hours in front of the screen.



#4. Choose Multivitamins to Boost Your Macular Pigment

The blue light emitted from the screens is absorbed by the eye tissue, known as macular pigment. It is a thin layer of yellow tissue that sits in the center of the eye, known as the macula and is composed of three critical carotenoids essential for a healthy eye, including zeaxanthin, lutein, and meso-zeaxanthin.

If you want to protect your eyes against the damage of blue light, you can focus on enhancing the health of your macular pigment by adding the right nutrition and supplements to your diet. Make sure your diet is rich in these three carotenoids, and dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and broccoli. You can also consider adding dietary supplements that include all three carotenoids essential for healthy eyes. However, before you add any supplement to your diet, get in touch with your healthcare practitioner, who already knows about all your pre-existing health conditions and recommends the right supplement for you.



#5. Consider Blue Light Glasses

Blue light glass functions in the same way as blue light filter screens. They are often transparent glasses that help prevent your eyes from absorbing all that blue light from the screen.

Consider investing in anti-reflective glasses that are slightly tinted. These coated glasses shield against blue light reflections on both sides of the lens.

While you can get these glasses without a prescription, it's best to check with your doctor to learn if the use of blue light glasses is appropriate for you.



#6. Schedule Microbreaks Throughout Your Day

If your workday involves prolonged exposure to screens, you need to schedule several microbreaks throughout your day to keep your eyes healthy.

Try and incorporate the 20-20-20 rule throughout the day, which means taking a short break every 20 minutes for 20 seconds to view an object that's at least 20 feet away from you. While it gives a break to your eyes, it also helps you reset your focus. You can even use this break as an opportunity to stretch yourself and prepare your body for what lies ahead.

Final Words

Blue light may not be a bad thing altogether; however, getting too much of it can be damaging to your eyes. You can protect yourself against damaging blue light by trying the above measures.