• Dr. Neil Satija

Why you don’t need blue blocking lenses and 7 eye care tips when staring at screens

Updated: Feb 27, 2020

Blue light has been a hot topic among the healthcare community.  Blue light is a specific wavelength of light that is emitted from personal electronic devices; it is also greatly emitted from the sun.

Blue light has been shown to disrupt a healthy sleep cycle, however studies have shown that blue light is not harming your retina.  Blue light isn’t the only light that can disrupt sleep. Any bright light near bedtime can interfere with sleep.

Studies have shown that screen time around bed time can increase the time it takes to fall asleep.  Staring at your phone before bed can also reduce the quality of sleep, hurt your eyes’ focusing ability and even slow down brain activity the next day. Holding the phone closer to your eyes can make this even worse.

So should you use blue blocking lenses to reduce computer vision syndrome? 

Blue blocking lenses have been shown to help reduce migraines and headaches when using the computer. Blue blocking lenses only block about 15% of blue light and studies have shown this is not significant enough to have an effect on sleep, comfort on the computer or the health of the eye itself.

What can you do to make screen viewing more comfortable and better for your sleep?

1. See an optometrist or ophthalmologist to get the correct eyeglass or contact lens prescription.  Balancing the eyes and reducing eye strain will greatly help the comfort level of your eyes.

2. Use anti-reflective coating on your lenses to reduce glare. This helps to reduce the amount of useless light the eyes see.

3. Use night mode on your cell phone to further reduce blue light

4. Decrease the brightness on your phone before bed to reduce all colors of light.  All colors of light reduce quality of sleep, not just blue light.

5. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that bedrooms be screen free rooms.  No screens means no harmful sleep depriving light.

6. Using artificial tears before screen time.  When looking at screens we tend to stare more.  We stare so much the blink rate actually drops to about half which causes the eyes to dry out through evaporation.

7. 20-20-20 rule.  The American Optometric Association recommends taking a 20 second break after every 20 minutes of screen time by looking at something 20 feet away.  This gives the eyes a chance to blink and allows the focusing muscles in the eye to relax.

At Green Eye Care in Harlem, NY our eye doctor and opticians do not buy into the hype about blue light blocking lenses.  Instead we look at your eyes and find out the root cause of discomfort during screen time and during sleep. We tailor each patient to the correct treatment plan.

For more information or to make an appointment with Dr. Neil Satija, Optometrist. Please visit us at 404 E 117th St. Harlem, NY 10035 or call us at (347) 757-5475.

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