As you know, we spend most of our time in front of screens at work or at home during the day. Especially, those with desk work have to look at computer screens for long periods of time. When we wake up in the morning or go to bed in the evening, we spend a lot of time on social media accounts or news content. These devices – looking at them for a long time, can cause serious harm to our eyes. The reason for this is the blue light coming from the screens.
Actually, the blue light is not completely harmful, we receive this light from the sun during the day. And it even helps us to be more fit, to keep our energy high and to regulate body. Moreover, not receiving enough sunlight is said to cause maldevelopment or visual impairment in children.
It means that blue light is not so terrible thing when we get it in natural ways. But the blue light we receive from the screens we constantly look during day and night causes a number of health problems. For example, prolonged and intense blue light exposure can trigger yellow spot disease in the eye. And it’s also said to cause serious damage to the retina. Furthermore, normally after sunset the body produces a hormone called melatonin. Thanks to this hormone we go to sleep mode and even fight the cancer cells in the body. But when we look at phone and computer screens at night, body stops releasing the hormone melatonin, accepting the light it receives, as daytime. This leads to disturbed sleep patterns at night. That is why it is always recommended not to look at screen a few hours before going to bed.
In a dark environment, at night, when the pupils are opened largely, plus get blue light from screen, of course it will damage our eyes and lack of melatonin will cause sleep disruption.
In his August 2018 publication, Dr. Karunarathe says that when the eye is exposed to blue light, the retina triggers formation of toxic chemical molecules in photoreceptor cells.
He says when the blue light is projected into the retina, it destroys photoreceptor cells which can’t be regenerated. As these cells die, it can go as far as blindness.
However, according to the researcher, the eye’s alpha Tocopherol molecule is a natural antioxidant, which prevents the death of cells in the eye. But the biggest problem does not start at a young age, the immune system weakens with the passing of time and this molecule begins to decline. Therefore, eyes can be damaged more by blue light with increasing age, he says.
There are several things we can do to avoid or minimize the damage. For example, wearing sunglasses to filter out UV rays and blue light outside during sunny weather is one of the simplest measures we can take. We can avoid using white light in our homes and use softer daylight or led lights. I recommend you to avoid using white lamps in your children’s rooms and even use old style bulbs. If you are going to play games at home on computer at night or do some work, macOS and even windows 10 even have night mode. When you come home, it will be healthier to use your computer by turning on night mode.
Most phones now have night-mode feature, if you want to use your phone while you are in bed at night, you can use this mode by turning it on. Even in these modes, both in computers and phones, automatic time setting is also available, so you do not have to deal with opening and closing every time, you can set it to work between 9 pm and 7am.
IPhones and iPads also have this feature. If you don’t have this feature on your android device, I’ll recommend a few apps you can download from Google play store.
The first application I can recommend is Blue Light Filter.
You can download and use the free application. The application is not complicated, you can use the color temperature options you wish and adjust the intensity manually.
The only drawback is that it doesn’t work on the lock screen and notification panel when the app is open. I have looked through a lot of applications, all of them have the same problem, I think this may be related to the android update.
The second application I can recommend is Twilight.
You can also download this application for free. This application allows you to make some more detailed settings. Again, there are features as filter density, color temperature and screen brightness adjusting.
One more advantage is that when you set the time, the phone gradually reduces the blue light towards sunset. And in addition, if you have Philips Hue lamps in your home, you can gradually adjust the color of your lamps in connection with the application to a level that will not disturb you.
With these applications you can protect your eyes a little more from these technological products. One last advice: when you look at screen for a long time, try to look at the distant object every 20 minutes. When we look at screen closely for a long time, our eyes become lazy and distorted to focus. In order to avoid this, do not forget to look at distance and think every 20 minutes. And don’t forget to blink your eyes to avoid dryness.