Posted January 30, 2015
The blue light emitted by digital devices could contribute to vision problems. Eye doctors report an increase in the number of patients complaining of dry, irritated eyes, headaches and blurred vision. These all are symptoms of digital fatigue syndrome, also known as computer vision syndrome. Health professionals believe the blue light, along with viewing habits, may be the source.
Time with digital devices
The Vision Council reports that digital eye strain occurs after two or more hours viewing a digital screen, such as computers, tablets or smartphones. Research shows that over 90 percent of adults spend two or more hours every day using a digital device. And at least 60 percent use them five or more hours daily.
Blue light concerns
Digital devices emit a blue light. Health professionals are concerned about people’s exposure to this light because the color blue is at the highest energy spectrum of visible light. This energy level can pierce through the eye’s natural light filters and injure muscles and tissues. Damage from blue light is cumulative, placing people at higher risk for vision problems and diseases such as loss of sight in the central vision area, or macular degeneration.
The harmful effects of blue light can be managed by blinking regularly and taking frequent breaks from devices. Eye professionals recommend following the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Provide down time for the brain
Taking time away from digital devices also gives the brain a chance to rest. This is especially important for children whose brains need time to sort and strengthen visual-spatial pathways necessary for developing effective problem-solving skills.
Vision professionals are concerned about an increase in the number of patients diagnosed with myopia (nearsightedness) as well. Learn more about the possible link to the use of digital devices.