Welcome to Yonge & College Optometry

Opening Hours : Mon to Fri - 9am to 6pm. Sun by appointment only.
  Contact : (647) 748-3937

The Light Spectrum and Blue Light

Digital Eye Strain: Your Smartphone and Bad Blue Light

Have you wondered if computers, tablets, or smart phones can damage your eyes?

New research suggests that extended use of digital devices like smart phones increases our exposure to “Bad Blue Light” that can be harmful to our eyes.

What is Bad Blue Light?

Blue light wavelengths between 415-455 nanometers – a wavelength range found to be detrimental to our eyes. Sources that emit higher portions of “Bad Blue Light” include Daylight, Cool White LED screens, and Compact Fluorescent light bulbs. High-resolution computer screens and smart phones have been found to emit up to 30% blue light.

Exposure to Bad Blue Light

A study by the American Association of Optometry explored the relevance of this to our current lifestyles. It found that 67% of adults spend more than 7 hours a day on their computer or cell phone, and 65% of people reported experiencing symptoms of digital eyestrain.

Most surprising was that the study found the most vulnerable age group is children. Nowadays, children are exposed to digital devices from a much earlier age than previous generations. However, young children have not yet built up the natural crystalline lens pigment that would otherwise help protect them from blue light damage.

Blue Light Filters and Digital Devices

How can you help reduce your exposure to blue light?

Blue light filters.

New lenses have been specially designed to block these harmful wavelengths from entering the eye and causing damage. These filters are especially useful for people who spend their workday in front of a computer or who experience eyestrain from using digital devices for extended periods of time.

The Balance of Blue Light Exposure

Interestingly, other studies have found that some level of blue light wavelength absorption is important to regulating our circadian (sleep/wake) cycle; what that exact level is still being studied. Therefore, we should aim for a balance of how much blue light we expose ourselves to and protect ourselves from excessive and prolonged exposure that is proven to be harmful.

In the meanwhile, computer-users should stick to regular eye exams to help prevent and manage any eye conditions.

Want recommendations to fit your lifestyle? Book an eye exam and we can help ensure you’re on the path to eye health.

Blue light infographic

Image: Essilor Canada