Weekly Safety Meeting – Is Blue Light Bad for Your Eyes?

We expose our eyes to increasing amounts of artificial blue light every day when we use our electronic devices, like a tablet, smartphone, laptop, flat screen TVs, and other digital devices. They all have one thing in common, they each will give off blue light.

The colors in the visible light spectrum are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Together, they make the white light you see when the sun, the main source of blue light, is shining. Fluorescent and LED (light-emitting diode) light bulbs will also give off blue light.

What Does Blue Light Do to Your Eyes?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and several other medical reviews, blue light is hard for our eyes to block, so nearly all of it travels to our retinas. There has been concern that continuous long-term exposure to blue light can damage retinal cells and cause eye conditions such as eye cancer, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) occurs when part of the retina, the macula, is damaged. AMD causes a loss of central vision. It is the primary cause of vision loss in people over 50.

Blue light is close to ultraviolet light in wavelength. Ultraviolet light is particularly damaging to tissue such as that in the retina, which is highly reactive to light, and some believe blue light may be damaging as well. Because of this, the retina can be more prone to damaging stress, depending on how much UV exposure our eyes get and for how long.

Currently, researchers have not found enough convincing evidence to explain that daily exposure to (artificial blue light) causes long-term harm to our eyes, but most researchers agree that more study is required to be sure.

Possible Symptoms:

Blue light from our digital devices can cause eye strain. Symptoms can include:

  • Dry eyes;
  • Watery eyes and tearing;
  • Blurred vision;
  • Headache;
  • Tired eyes; and
  • Irritation and soreness.


As we use our beloved devices that emit that blue light, researchers offer some suggestions to help reduce eye strain. Recommendations include taking the following precautions:

  • We should rest our eyes regularly, by looking away from screens at least once every 20 minutes. To do this, focus on a non-digital object located 20 feet away for 20 seconds or more.
  • We should sit or stand further away from these devices by placing monitors and laptops literally at least an arms length away, a distance of approximately 2 feet. We should position our monitors at eye level or even slightly lower.
  • We should limit the glare by adjusting screen contrast or brightness and by lowering nearby lights. We should consider installing a matte-like filter on our devices to deflect the glare.
  • We should keep our eyes lubricated, using over-the-counter non-prescriptive eye-moisturizing drops, frequently, and even when our eyes are not bothering us. We should also avoid sitting under or above air vents, as well is fans that might blow directly upon our faces and eyes; and
  • We should also visit our optometrists, and ask them about specific glasses, lenses, coatings, and even tints, specifically designed for computer work and potential eyestrain issues.PROTECT YOUR EYES…THEY ARE PRECIOUS!
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