Technology has come a long way since the first computer monitor was introduced in the 1970s. Nowadays, we are surrounded by digital screens. We have access to a screen on our phones, televisions, laptops, and video game consoles. With so much exposure on a daily basis to screen time, we have become vulnerable to blue light.
“It has been estimated that as many as 70 to 75 percent of computer workers experience eye discomfort from high screen use.” - Dora Adamopoulous, OD Medical Advisor, The Vision Council
Blue light is “high-energy visible (HEV) light wavelengths”. The largest contributor to blue light is the Sun. Additionally, light bulbs and digital screens are a source of blue light. Even though the Sun is the greatest source of blue light, the concern falls on the people who constantly stare at their screens for hours a day. Too much exposure to blue light can be harmful to your eye health. Blue light can cause retina damage leading to eye strain, reduced blinking, blurred vision, and headaches. [Source]
The impact of blue light on your eyes via digital screens is something I wish I was aware of when I started my design career back in 2006. However, it was in 2018 when I took my eye health seriously and I received a pair of blue light blocking glasses. As a graphic designer, I dedicate at least 12-15 hours a day to screen time. I remember the times before owning these glasses when I’d be focused on a screen and my eyes would tear-up. Nonetheless, these glasses have greatly improved the way I work. I’ve noticed that my eyes have become less tired when wearing them.
Aside from designing, I also wear my glasses when gaming. Furthermore, you’ll find me wearing them before bed. I’ve found that blue light blocking glasses have helped me get a better night’s sleep. Therefore, resulting in a more productive workday. Additionally, blue light blocking glasses can make for one hell of a fashion statement.
Other than blue light blocking glasses, there are further means you can take to reduce blue light exposure and eye strain. You can start by enabling dark mode on all the apps you use that allow it. For apps that don’t have the feature, you can always look up a dark mode extension or app. Moreover, you can turn-on night light mode on all your devices that have the feature. Night light mode displays your screen as a yellowish tint, minimizing the emission of blue light. Furthermore, you can dim all your lights, including light bulbs, come night time.
My blue light blocking glasses is a tool that I can’t live without. We are still uncertain how blue light exposure will impact us in the long-run. However, I’ll err on the side of caution and I wear them whenever possible. I can’t stress enough how important eye health is, especially for fellow graphic designers. Aside from wearing blue light blocking glasses, make sure to take breaks from the screen and to blink more often to avoid dry eyes. As technology continues to evolve and more information about long-term blue light exposure is released, we should do all that we can to protect our eyes.
All the best,