Health spotlight: 4 ways to protect your eyes from blue light



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:

  1. 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.
  2. Smaller screens emit less blue light so using a phone instead of a tablet helps so does reducing the screen’s brightness.
  3. 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).
  4. 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)


41 thoughts on “Health spotlight: 4 ways to protect your eyes from blue light

  1. Purchased a pair of reading glasses at Staples that are supposed to filter computer blue light. Been wearing them for about two months and they do seem to help. I purchased another pair for my wife, who is on a computer all day at her work and they do seem to help her a lot., she no longer complains of eye pain at the end of the day. However, they do change colors of other items, especially material, when wearing them at other times, not on a computer.

  2. this is useful information and I think I passed with flying colors. I do not have or use a phone that is a problem and I typically wind down in the evening by wrapping things up at the computer and reading an actual book. There is a subdued light (that I’ve covered over, too) on a bedside medical device I cannot move from the room. The phone remains (OFF!) downstairs in my purse. The only light is streetlight (or moonlight) creeping in around the shades and the lighting on the clock radio across the room that shows the time. Having no trouble sleeping and little to no blue-light stimulation aside from the computer, which isn’t in the bedroom and is turned off nightly.

  3. We don’t have to worry about any gadgets before bedtime. But, what about TV, cars with those blinding blue lights (the ones with the drivers that don’t know that the blue light on their instrument panel mean that their “high beams” are on).
    And, speaking of lights! When is the automotive industry going to change their high profile vehicles to comply with those of “ordinary” passenger level vehicles. We are getting blinded out there. There was once a law that made it easier for us who drive a low profile vehicle to not be blinded by oncoming traffic. Or, for that matter, that same law made it necessary to have one’s headlamps checked for proper alignment!

  4. Here I am at 12:01am. Still reading my e’s , knowing full well I know I will not be able to go to sleep. Therefor I will have to take a sleeping pill===4=4Nite Scottie

  5. I have some glasses. Seem to help my eyes from being blurry and seem to rest better when I go to bed from when I don’t use them.

  6. Yes I totally understand see me I’m a hard sleeper I can’t sleep so I sleep like 2 hours a day 3 hours a day and then I’m just putting my phone until I fall asleep it’s really I don’t know it’s bad for my eyes but it’s not that I can do but I don’t take pain pills so it’s hard for me to sleep I’ll get it though but on my tablet I do have the blue light and I’m just and start for me so

  7. I have long ago dealt with any possible problems caused by “Blue Light”. How?
    Simple: My cell-phone does not emit any Blue Light from its LQD screen.
    My cell-phone doesn’t do a lot of other distracting, superfluous things either.
    It does not take pictures. It does not chat. It cannot play Pokemon Go or iPhone Zombie Apocalypse, or even Pong. It cannot automatically connect me with 10, 000,000 dubious “friends” on FaceBook or any social media, nor can it give the federal government opportunity to track me, record my every movement, or the coordinates to run a Smartbomb-equipped warhead directly up my arse anytime they so choose.
    My cell-phone is only one thing: A communication device that can transmit and receive an actual organic Human voice. That is all I’ll ever need.

  8. I have been telling my kids this for along time. When they were little I would tell them to limit pc and tv time, esp. before bedtime.
    Now I can hardly get them to put their phones down.

  9. I am not looking at a screen all day like a lot of people now a days. I do home health care. I take care of people who want to live at home instead of being in a nursing home. So I am to busy taking care of people instead of staring at my phone, computer screen or tablet. More people need to get away from their screens & help someone else. This would give them more peace & bring them closer to the God above. I take time to go to church, bible study class & reading books.

  10. I find the blue light emitted in the evening does have some affect on how well I sleep especially when I read them late into the evening

  11. You were right on the mark in sending this article to me!
    I usually “catch up” with emails and FB between 8-10 (sometimes 11pm).
    But lately, when I try to sleep, it seems that my brain refuses to “shut down!!”
    I use an IPad which probably emits more blue light, right?
    Well, I think I will have to take your good advice and try to eliminate the 2 hours of
    Communication before going to bed. Besides, my friends may thank you!
    Sheila Turbet

  12. My clock radio has a blue light display. I’m wondering if this little bit of blue light is disrupting my sleep without me even knowing it. Perhaps I should turn it to face away from my bed.

  13. I like your article on blue light. I am definitely being affected by blue light. I don’t get enough sleep as it is. You mentioned orange goggles. Are you serious and if so, where can I buy them?

    Do you have anymore suggestions?

    Thank you for enlightening me on this subject.


    Muriel Mae Day

  14. I have insomnia, no matter what I do. Strangely I sleep better during the day! I have Acute Allergies & COPD, & a ,other more health issues, but these are what I shall discuss today.
    Over the years, I have found that my allergies are not as intents at night! My husband use to be a Smog Tech. for many years, & he’d get info about pollution & such. One of the research programs found that when the sun goes down, there was less smog in the air! This is one reason your smog pump last longer, it only turns on when there is sunlight! There is a senser that tell the pump there is sunlight, so it turns on, & when there is no sunlight, it turns off. This allows the pump to do it’s job & last much longer.
    I believe this is why I do so much better at night. Who knows, it may be psychological, but it works for me! LOL ROTF Thanx for reading a little bit about me, Karene. =

  15. I was amazed at the information about blue light hurting the eyes. It was very informative and I will be sharing it with my family and friends. I especially like the idea of not using your smart phones two hours before sleep. I will definitely try this.

  16. I work at an Eye Doctor’s office and we have new glass lenses and contact lenses that are designed to help with the blue light syndrome.

  17. I think these tips are good. Maybe if people also had another small light on when using devices it would lessen the problem

  18. Very helpful information & most definitely isn’t good for the eyes..was always getting headaches after looking at my phone in the dark for long periods of time.

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