OPINION: Block the blue light


Photo credit/ Autumn Bohner

Staff Writer Victoria DeFrancis discusses the impact of blue light in a time where everyone seems to be glued to their screens.

Victoria DeFrancis, Staff Writer

Being a young adult who has grown up with constant advancements in technology, I have had my fair share of blue light exposure.

Since I already have poor eyesight, my parents were always concerned with how I treated my eyes. Of course, as kids we never want to listen to our parents. But they do know what they’re talking about sometimes.

According to Prevent Blindness, blue light is a mixture of colors that emit from our electronic devices, kind of like the colors of a rainbow. Red, orange, yellow, blue, indigo and violet lights all mix to create the white light we see on our screens.

With the pandemic and the abrupt transition to online school, the connection to our devices, especially computers, is heavily strengthened. We’ve all heard about blue light and how it can affect our eyes in the future. But everything in life comes with its own pros and cons.

According to Prevent Blindness, blue light can actually promote good health. Blue light is beneficial as it boosts alertness, cognitive function and elevates moods. Not only is it beneficial externally, but internally. Our circadian rhythm, which is the body’s natural wake and sleep cycle, is regulated by blue light. During the daytime, it maintains a healthy rhythm but at night it can be disturbed and could lead to sleeping problems and daytime tiredness.

On the other hand, blue light is known to cause digital eye strain which consists of increased fatigue, dry eyes, and bad lighting. Eye strain can include irritated eyes or difficulty focusing. Studies have shown that our retinas are at risk of being damaged when exposed to blue light. This can lead to problems over time, especially with age.
Thankfully, we have learned enough so far to brainstorm efficient ways to lessen the risk of long-term damage to our eyes. While blue light is super prominent today with the age of computers, phones and televisions, there are a variety of preventative measures to take.

One way to lessen the effects of blue light is by investing in a pair of blue light glasses to decrease the chance of eye strain. These glasses come with a yellow tint to block the blue light. You can also get a pair of anti-reflective glasses to reduce glare, increase contrast while also blocking blue light.

For those who don’t prefer to wear glasses, you can also place your screen away from your eyes and a little below eye level. Changing your brightness could help too! There are also filters to place over computer and phone screens to decrease the amount of blue light.

Even in the age of online schooling and technology, it doesn’t hurt to take a few minutes to move your eyes from the screen to give them a break. Staring at a computer screen for hours isn’t healthy, and not the most efficient way to get work done.

Being a person that is obsessed with my electronic devices, I have noticed the fatigue and strain that comes with technology. Instead of working for hours on end on schoolwork with the increase of online classes and straining my eyes, I’ll take a little break for myself and recuperate.

You owe it to yourself to take care of your vision!

Contact the writer: [email protected]