How Can Blue Light Damage the Eyes?

As you read this article, you are likely exposing your eyes to blue light. There is a need for concern about spending long days on digital devices because it can hurt your eyes due to the high level of blue light they emit. Here are some facts about the consequences of blue light exposure for the eyes.


What Is Blue Light?

White light consists of several colors. In combination, they become the white light we see. Each of these colors has a matching wavelength. Red light has longer wavelengths, while blue light is shorter with more energy.

The blue light wavelength is only slightly longer than that of UV rays. UV rays are harmful to the eyes and the skin. So, high-energy blue light waves can be nearly as powerful.


Why Does Blue Light Harm Your Eyes?


Our eyes are not very good at blocking blue light. The cornea and the lens effectively prevent UV rays from reaching the retina. Less than one percent of UV rays will reach the retina even when you are not wearing sunglasses. But the same does not apply to blue light. It passes through the cornea and lens, reaching the retina without restriction.


What Does Blue Light Do to the Eyes?


With the evolution of digital devices, blue light has become a rising concern. It brings risks and side effects to the eyes. Here are several to help you understand how it damages your eyes.


Digital Strain


Blue light scatters easier than other visible light. Hence, it is harder to focus on it. When you spend hours on digital devices, the visual noise from the blue light reduces contrast, resulting in digital eyestrain. With advances in technology, lenses are now available that block high-energy blue light. They increase contrast significantly, reducing digital eyestrain.


Macular Degeneration

The number one cause of sight loss in people over 50 in America is age-related macular degeneration. The macula structure in the back of your eye succumbs to damage, wear, and tear as you age. It may cause you to lose sight in the center of your field of vision. However, you may still see things in the periphery. Over time, it becomes difficult to see, and you may lose your eyesight.

Blue light speeds up the process of macular degeneration. It damages the light-sensitive retinal cells, leading to vision loss sooner rather than later.


Lack of Sleep


Lack of sleep may not directly relate to the eyes, but it affects light sensors in the eyes. These sensors perceive the difference between intense daylight waves and warmer tones towards the end of the day. The sensors prompt your body to release melatonin. The hormone induces sleep, allowing you to rest and rejuvenate.

Blue light causes alertness for longer than you need; it may also reduce your blinking, resulting in dry eyes. It disrupts sleep cycles and probably causes other issues.

For more information on how blue light damages your eyes, visit Diamond Bar Optometric Center at our office in Diamond Bar, California. You can call (909) 861-4999 today to schedule an appointment.