Blue Light Exposure And Macular Degeneration

Protecting Your Eyes from Damage

Our eyes and blue light are not ideal situations. The eyes are not very good at blocking the blue light, therefore, resulting in digital eye strain, and the exposure can increase the risk of macular degeneration. High energy visible (HEV) blue light, especially from electronic devices and LED lights, is known to promote symptoms that interfere with our sleep pattern and damage the eyes.  Of our five senses, humans rely on vision most strongly. Our everyday experience of the world is colored by our ability to see, our memory draws heavily upon visual information, and many activities of daily living are challenging without sight. As a result, it is essential to protect your eyes from damage. Regular visits to an eye care provider allow you to receive a professional eye exam that checks for damage due to inadequate eye protection.

Harmful Blue Light Exposure

The blue light coming off our favorite screens is extremely difficult for the human eye to focus, which causes our eyes to work overtime to try and process it which can lead to headaches, tired eyes, and blurry vision.  Americans are spending more time than ever in front of screens. From checking email on smartphones to staring at a computer screen in your office to watching TV in the evenings, too much screen use can cause eye strain. Experts recommend taking at least five minutes per hour to relax your eyes and alleviate strain. Go for a brief walk or focus on distant objects to reduce eye strain before returning to the task at hand. With so much screen time in today’s world, our eyes are being exposed to an unprecedented amount of high-energy blue light which is emitted from devices like smartphones, tablets, TVs, and even CFL and LED lights.

It is important to note that the cornea and lens, are effective at blocking UV rays from reaching the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eyeball. But virtually 100% of high-energy visible blue light passes through these structures and reaches the retina.

Blue light has caused a huge increase in digital eyestrain not only in adults but also in children. According to a new study by the Vision Service Plan, by the time the average American child reaches age 17, their eyes will have spent the equivalent of nearly six years looking at digital devices.  Ask the doctors and knowledgeable staff at Family Eye Care of Medford’s office about ways to protect your family’s eyes from harmful blue light.

Dust, Wind, and other Environmental Stressors

It is easy for the eyes to become damaged by windy conditions, blowing dust, air pollutants, and other small particles in the air. When facing dusty or windy conditions, eye drops or safety glasses can protect your eyes from damage. Contact wearers should opt for glasses to prevent particles from irritating the surface of their eyes. Whenever possible, stay indoors on very windy or dusty days to prevent eye damage. If your eyes become very irritated, visit the eye doctor for a thorough optometry exam and treatment recommendations.

In general, the best policy is to avoid taking chances with your eye health. Wear proper protection when heading outside, playing sports, and working with dangerous tools or chemicals. Your eyes are designed to last a lifetime; treat them well, and you can avoid major vision problems that affect everyday life.

Contact us if you have any questions about Blue Light and the potential impact on your eyes.


1643 Route 112, Suite A
Medford, NY 11763
(across from McDonald’s)

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