We’ve all been there. The new episode of your favorite show comes out and you sit four inches from your TV or computer waiting in fear/ anticipation. But while you’re asking all sorts of questions about the fates of your favorite characters, a question you should also consider is: Will this screen time cause permanent damage to my eyesight?

We are living in the digital age and are constantly glued to computer screens or other digital devices. Although this may seem “normal” nowadays, too much exposure to the blue light emitted from gadgets may cause adverse effects to visual health that eye doctors are worried about. At our onsite Howerton Eye optical shop, we see patients all the time who share concerns about blue light, so we’re here to shine a light on this topic and see what can be done about it.

What is Blue Light?

High energy visible light, also known as blue rays, are produced by digital devices and easily enter your eyes, thus increasing the risk of eye problems. This light has lead to a condition known as “digital eye strain” or “computer vision syndrome”. Computer vision syndrome is the visual discomfort you experience after watching TV or using tablets/ smartphones for an extended time. Common issues include sore eyes, Dry Eye Syndrome, headaches, and nausea.

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry Eye Syndrome is often a chronic condition, which means that individuals who don’t seek treatment with an eye doctor may be dealing with discomfort or pain for several years. In addition to living with stinging and scratchy eyes, Dry Eye Syndrome increases the likelihood of eye injury or infection. Because tears form a protective barrier against bacteria on the surface of the eyes, patients who have Dry Eye Syndrome are more likely to develop infections. Additionally, severe cases of Dry Eye Syndrome can result in high levels of inflammation and even damage to the cornea.

What are the Other Risks?

Another long-term risk associated with excessive exposure to blue light that eye doctors are concerned about is myopia (nearsightedness). Myopia is a common vision condition in which you can see objects near you clearly, but objects farther away are blurry. This condition occurs when the shape of your eye causes light rays to bend (refract) incorrectly, focusing images in front of your retina instead of on your retina. This issue may grow rapidly or gradually, often developing during childhood and adolescence.

What Can be Done

Great TV shows may stand the test of time, but your eyes aren’t as iron-clad. It’s important that you visit an eye doctor for regular eye exams at least on a yearly basis, and if you are experiencing any of these telltale signs of eye issues, even sooner. Making the time to visit an eye doctor at Howerton Eye is beneficial for both the quality of your eyes now, and their continuing health in the future. So schedule your appointment today! Our eye doctors can help check your eyes for any issues and prescribe solutions like HEV Blue Filter Computer Lenses now!