person browsing on phone

You’ve probably heard a friend or newscast mention “blue light,” but maybe you’re not quite sure what it is. Simply put, the human eye can only see a small portion of the waves that surround us. That’s what we refer to as “visible light.” Blue light is part of the visible light spectrum.

The reason a friend, newscast or article was likely talking about it is because our devices — TV screens, cell phones, laptops, etc. — all produce blue light. However, blue light isn’t just emitted by man-made objects. For example, the largest producer of blue light is the sun.

Over the past few years, potential blue light damage caused by our devices has become a real concern that is shared by many of us.

But should we be worried?

According to a report in the American Academy of Ophthalmology, “there is no scientific evidence that blue light from digital devices causes damage to your eye.” So, despite any headline you read in the paper or report you see on the news, you should feel confident in knowing that your devices are likely not causing harm to your eyes by emitting blue light.

How Might Blue Light Negatively Impact Us?

Of course, that’s not to say that blue light is entirely harmless. Although it has not been shown to cause damage to your eye, it can make it difficult to fall asleep at night. That’s because blue light — no matter where it comes from — wakes us up.

Here’s another way to think about it: You may make a cup of coffee each morning to start your day. But you wouldn’t drink a cup right before settling into bed, would you? Similarly, it may not be the best idea to check out what’s happening on Facebook if you plan to go to bed within the next few hours.

If you do decide to use your phone or watch a show on your computer late at night, you may want to consider using night mode or dark mode, which can have slightly different names depending on the device. By using night mode, you can limit your exposure to blue light, which will reduce eye strain and make it easier to sleep.

So Why Do My Eyes Hurt After Looking at a Screen?

So, if blue light damage isn’t the real culprit, what causes our eyes to hurt after looking at a screen for too long? Digital eye strain.

Because we blink less when looking at screens, our eyes strain or become dry. Thankfully, the damage isn’t lasting and can easily be prevented by taking regular breaks to look at objects in the distance or by using artificial tears whenever your eyes become too dry.

Do you have other questions or concerns about blue light or eye strain? Call us at (561) 747-7777 to schedule an appointment.