Blue Lights and Eye Health

Recently, I have invested in screen protectors for my personal computer and the monitors at work. The main purposes are 1) to reduce the amount of blue light emitted from the devices and 2) to make the screens more private. While the increased privacy is definitely a bonus, what I care about most is the protection for my eyes.

I did a little bit of research on blue lights and eye health. As it turns out, there are multiple studies and research that confirm the effect of blue light on sleep. Exposure to blue lights at night suppress the chemical called melatonin which signals to our body when it’s time to sleep. In other words, we tend to feel sleepy much later at night and as social commitments such as our day job require early waking, we’ll sleep less than the recommended 8 hours a night.

The picture; however, is less clear on the relationship between blue lights and human eyes. While multiple sources such as Prevent Blindness, News Medical and this scientific paper, just to name a few, did mention the harmful effect of blue lights on human eyes, others tend to disagree. Here is what the American Academy of Ophthalmology said about the issue:

When you stare at a screen for hours at a time, whether it is a computer, TV, phone or tablet, you are exposed to blue light from the device. But there is no scientific evidence that blue light from digital devices causes damage to your eye.

But the website did say:

The discomfort some people have after looking at screens is most likely digital eye strain. Most of us blink less when looking at screens, causing eye strain and dry eyes, says Rahul Khurana, MD, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Frankly, I don’t know which opinion is correct. Nonetheless, I figure if the screen protectors can reduce the amount of blue light and help with the digital eye strain, they are worth a small investment. Better be careful than sorry, they often say.