March is the American Optometric Association’s National Save Your Vision Month and this year they’re promoting awareness about digital eyestrain and the impact of so-called blue light on eye health. According to the advocacy group, the average American spends seven hours a day in front of computer screens, smartphones, tablets and e-books, and the blue light these devices emit can cause vision damage, sleep disruption and other problems.
Why is blue light a problem? While sunlight also contains blue light it’s what helps us stay awake and alert during the day exposure from illuminated displays in the evening confuses our brains into thinking it’s still daytime, suppressing the natural secretion on melatonin, a hormone that signals to our bodies that it’s time to sleep.
Here are four ways to minimize or counter the amount of blue light your eyes are exposed to:
- If you use an iPhone, the smartphone’s new “Night Shift” mode can be set to adjust the screen’s color automatically in the evening or late at night. If you use an Android device, there are several filtering apps you can use, like Twilight or CF.lumen. On your laptop, you can use an app called f.lux.
- Smaller screens emit less blue light so using a phone instead of a tablet helps so does reducing the screen’s brightness.
- Use an original black and white e-book, like a Kindle, or we know, this might sound crazy consider reading paper books in the evening (they don’t emit any blue light at all).
- Pick up a pair of amber-tinted goggles you’ll want ones that block blue light below 530 nm. The downside is you may not be very keen on the orange tint. The upside (or not) is that may look like Vin Diesel in The Chronicles of Riddick.
Experts believe you don’t have to stop using your blue-light-emitting devices entirely. Just put them away two hours before bedtime.
Have you noticed your sleep patterns affected by your smartphone or tablet use? Have you tried out any of our tips to lessen blue light exposure? Share your thoughts and experiences with the Shop Talk Blog community forum!
The average Canadian spends seven hours a day in front of computer screens, smartphones, tablets and e-books, and the blue light these devices emit can cause vision damage, sleep disruption and other problems.
Did you know: Daily exposure
Though it may sound counter-intuitive, another way to counter the effects of blue light exposure in the evening is to get more sun exposure during the day. But if you do, don’t forget your sunscreen! (Source)