Beyond the Screen: Protecting your vision from blue light

Special Reports

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Nearly all of us have to look at a computer screen, tablet or phone for multiple hours of the day. It’s a job requirement for most. But all of that staring into screens exposes us to blue light.

DJ Anthony B, aka Anthony Bruno, spins his tunes at night, but during the day, his job gets more complicated.

“I do all of the audio editing,” he explained.

Bruno is the production engineer for NonStopMusic.  

“I’m researching music, finding and sourcing high quality music, and editing music for play,” he said.

To do his job properly, he has four screens in front of him at all times.

“Sometimes, after spending a few hours of working on something, my eyes would feel tired,” he said. “I would feel strain in my eyes. They would feel dry.”

NEWS10 ABC’s Trishna Begam asked Bruno how many hours of the day he spends in front of all of those screens?

“I’d say between six to eight hours,” he replied.

Over at DiNapoli Optician, Susan Morrett attributes some of that strain to blue light.

“Blue light is a high energy light source that can be emitted from TV screens, computers, phones, anything backlit,” she explained.

It’s a part of the visible light spectrum. In order to protect his eyes, Bruno looked into a pair of blue light blockers.

“I feel like I’m about to work longer and be more productive before my eyes start to feel strain,” Bruno said.

These days, you can find a pair of blue light blockers anywhere. A quick search online will return hundreds of results, and most local optical stores carry them as well.

“It’s a very new technology. It’s new to the market. We’ve only been working with blue filtering lenses for the last couple of years,” Morett added.

The research is still inconclusive.  The American Academy of Opthamology maintains special lenses aren’t necessary. According to the AAO, there is no scientific evidence that blue light from digital devices cause damage to the eyes, but it can affect your sleep patterns.

“Some doctors believe something to help blue light absorption is helpful. Other doctors aren’t buying into it, yet,” Morrett explained.

For her clients that spend hours in front of a screen, she makes the following recommendation.

“As an optician, we kind of believe that something helping certainly can’t hurt,” she said. “With so much computer use, it is causing dry eye or eye fatigue.”

But Morrett warns not all lenses are made equal.

“Anything you’re buying online, they are not meeting anyone’s standards,” she warned.

“In the short-term at least for comfort, if nothing else, they are beneficial,” Bruno added.

So far, buying into one of the hottest trends in the workforce has paid off for him letting him block out the blues and focus on his music.

Most PCs on Windows and Mac Operating Systems include blue light features. If you’re on a PC go, into Settings, choose Settings, select Display, and toggle the ‘night light’ switch on. There are a number of third party apps for both PCs and phones you can download that have similar features.

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