In today’s digital world the effects of blue light are an evitable part of the workplace. Whether you work outdoors or in an office setting, we are all being exposed to blue light.
Recent medical studies indicate that not only is the damage from blue light exposure permanent, but it can also speed up the process of age-related macular degeneration, resulting in permanent vision loss. Common sources of blue light include the sun, electronic devices such as computers, laptops, TVs, smart phones, tablets, as well as LED and fluorescent lighting.
What is Blue Light?
Sunlight is made up of red, orange, yellow, green and blue light rays. Rays on the red end of the visible light spectrum contain less energy due to their longer wavelength. Rays on the blue end of the spectrum, however, have shorter wavelengths, allowing them to carry more energy. Blue light rays that contain the highest amount of energy are referred to as ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
How is Blue Light Dangerous?
When compared to visible light rays, UV rays have higher energy, which makes them capable of producing changes in the skin that create a suntan. Too much exposure, on the other hand, can result in a sunburn. This concept applies to our eyes as well. The natural filters in our eyes are not strong enough to block out the blue light rays from the sun, let alone digital devices. Increased exposure to blue light rays over time can lead to a variety of harmful effects including:
- Digital Eye Strain Syndrome: a group of eye and vision-related problems that develop from prolonged computer, tablet, e-reader and cell phone use.
- Permanent eye damage, speeding up the process of age-related macular degeneration and vision loss.
- Greater risk of certain types of cancers
- Disruptions in the circadian rhythm
- Increased risk of depression
Want to learn more? Click HERE to download The Effects of Blue Light Infographic!
Protecting Your Eyes
In order to better protect your employees’ eyes at work and prevent decreased productivity, it’s important to offer safety eyewear that absorbs harmful high energy visible light, or (HEV) rays. Anti-reflective lenses are beneficial because they are specially designed to block blue light from the sun as well as digital devices. For those who work in an office setting, computer glasses with tinted lenses or photochromic lenses are available, which help prevent digital eyestrain by providing contrast.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the types of safety eyewear ORR has to offer.
Source: American Optometric Association