LIGHTS OUT! BLUE LIGHT AND THE EYE
14: SPACE COAST LIVING | SPACECOASTLIVING.COM
and difficulty focusing.
Even worse, research
suggests that extended
exposure can damage
retinal cells, leading to
such as age-related macular
degeneration, or AMD, the
leading cause of irreversible
blindness in older adults
in developed countries,
affecting more than 200
million individuals around the globe.
An additional issue with overexposure to blue light during the
evening hours is that can negatively affect your sleep cycle, causing
insomnia and daytime exhaustion. Before the advent of artificial
lighting, people would live in relative darkness once the sun went
down. Now, the world is illuminated well into the night. The blue
light of artificial lighting can suppress secretion of melatonin, the
hormone that regulates circadian rhythm. Research has pointed to
insufficient sleep as a culprit in developing depression, diabetes and
To decrease the negative effects of blue light, Dr. Trespalacios recommends
decreasing screen time and making time for frequent “eye
rest” breaks. Screen filters, available for computer screens, tablets and
phones, can decrease the amount of blue light given off by these devices.
Yellow-tinted computer glasses can help by increasing contrast.
Anti-reflective lenses in reading glasses can also increase contrast;
they also serve to block blue light from all sources.
Cataract surgery can significantly protect eyes and retina from blue
light and all ultraviolet light with blue-blocking intraocular lenses
that replace the eye’s own original but now cloudy lens.
Patients now have the option to choose blue-blocking intraocular
lenses to replace the yellow, aged lenses during cataract surgery.
These yellow-tinted lenses block both U V light and the blue-violet
wavelengths, mimicking healthy crystalline lenses. Both animal and
experimental studies have demonstrated the significant protective
effect of these lenses, particularly with patients at higher risk of blue
In the past, exposure to blue light was primarily limited to daylight
hours, when the sun was shining. However, the current technology
and state-of-the-art lighting with which we live have increased our
exposure to blue light, putting our eyes at risk around the clock.
Returning to a world lit by candles is not an option, but we need not
be as dependent on blue light.
“We cannot live in the dark,
but we can minimize our
exposure to blue light,” said Dr.
For more information,
call 321-984-3200 or
By OMaria Sonnenberg ur love affair with technology can wreck our vision, not to
mention our sleep, thanks to blue light.
One of several colors in the visible light spectrum, blue
light is abundant in sunshine, and in your flat-screen television,
computer, laptop, tablet and smartphone, as well as in compact
fluorescent lightbulbs and LED lights. The body needs blue light,
but in moderation, to boost both memory and alertness, enhance
mood and improve attention span and reaction times, plus
regulate circadian rhythm that allows for restful sleep. However, it
can be too much of a good thing.
“The problem is that, with technology, we are being overexposed
to blue light,” said ophthalmologist Dr. Rafael Trespalacios of Tres
Vision Group in Melbourne, Merritt Island and Suntree.
Although exposure from sources such as laptops and phones
is small when compared to exposure from the sun, the close
proximity of these screens and our dependence on them is cause
for concern from the experts.
“Because all blue light reaches the retina, it can affect vision and
prematurely age the eyes,” added Dr. Trespalacios.
Too much exposure to blue light can cause eye fatigue, dry eyes,
321-984-3200 Melbourne | Suntree/Viera | Meritt Island www.TresVision.com