Block the blue light to save your sight

Live Healthy


HOLLYWOOD, Fla.Most of us can’t live without our cellphones, tablets and laptops. On average, we spend more than nine hours a day staring at one screen or another. Blue light comes from all of them and doctors say it’s dangerous, especially years from now.

“Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat,” Courtney Soltis listed.

As millennials do, Soltis can barely let an hour pass without checking in with her electronic community of friends and work.

She continued, “I’m on all devices, tablets, computers, cellphones over eight hours a day.”

She started suffering daily headaches and it turned out digital eye strain was the culprit.

“Vision becomes blurry, eyes become fatigued, sometimes red, and it’s very frequent to start getting headaches,” said Alan Mendelsohn, MD, an ophthalmologist.

Dr. Mendelsohn says anyone looking at a screen for more than 30 minutes a day is at risk.

“There’s blue light that’s emitted from digital devices. That’s high energy visible light but it’s harmful, and that’s what causes the digital eye strain,” Dr. Mendelsohn explained.

And if you don’t block that blue light early on, he says you could be risking macular degeneration down the road.

Alex Bari, who is at risk for macular degeneration said, “You don’t really want to be at high risk of going blind after the age of 50.”

The doctor told Bari the first thing he can do to lower his risk is to distance himself.

“There’s only one fourth of the exposure holding it two feet versus one foot,” said Dr. Mendelsohn.

Dr. Mendelsohn says you should also make sure your glasses have blue blocker built in.

He explained, “specifically it’s something called yellow chromophore pigment that’s embedded in the lens.”

It’s more expensive but this expert says it’s worth it.

“We want to prevent the macular degeneration, it’s a preventable thing,” said Dr. Mendelsohn.

Some insurance companies cover the cost of the blue blocker. Otherwise it’s around 100 dollars depending on the prescription. Dr. Mendelson adds it’s important to protect children’s vision as well, saying they should watch screens from at least three feet away.