We spend a lot of time staring at screens—whether it’s a laptop, smart phone, television, or tablet—and our eyes pay the price. While it’s well-known that prolonged exposure to light can cause retinal injury, there’s one type of light that’s worse than the rest: blue light, a.k.a. the type of light emitted by most digital screens.
The primary concern with blue light is that its wavelengths are shorter than other light types, like red or yellow, so it has more energy. It’s also not filtered out by the cornea or the lens in your eyes (the second part of your eye behind the cornea). As a result, many experts believed it could cause retina damage or eye conditions like macular degeneration, according to a previous interview on Health with Anam Qureshi, MD, clinical assistant professor of ophthalmology at NYU Langone in New York City.
Blue light is also the primary cause of computer vision syndrome, also known as digital eye strain. This temporary condition results from staring at screens for an extended period and can cause a wide range of symptoms like blurred vision, dizziness, eye strain, double vision, dry eyes, or headaches.
The easiest way to avoid blue light exposure is spending less time on our screens—but we know that feels like an impossible task in the world we live in today, where many of our personal, professional, and social needs require a device. Instead, we recommend investing in a pair of blue light glasses.
These handy glasses filter out blue light, so you can spend more time scrolling and less time dealing with eye strain. They don’t require a doctor’s prescription—though you can choose to buy prescription lenses with blue light-blocking capabilities if you already wear glasses—and can all be easily purchased online.
How’s that for handling the blues?