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ANewsletter for Clients and Friends FromAttorneys Paul Levin and Kelly Kasheta
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR EYES AND MINIMIZE EXPOSURE The Hazards of Blue Light
You may have been warned about blue light and its impending threat to your eyes. It comes from your computer screen, your phone, and even from the sun. Why is this form of light harmful, and how can you keep your eyes safe? Is Blue Light a NewThing? Blue light occurs in nature and is nothing new. However, because many electronics emit blue light, it’s more of an issue now than it was just 10 years ago. Backlit LED screens emit strong blue light waves, so our use of devices like cellphones, tablets, and flat-screen TVs means we are exposed to more blue light than ever before. Why Are Eye Doctors Worried? Blue light isn’t inherently bad — it’s found in sunlight and lightbulbs — but our increased exposure to it might be. Our eyes are pretty good at blocking UV rays but not so good at blocking blue light. Blue light has a higher energy output than other forms of light, so instead of being filtered by the corneas and lenses, almost all of it reaches the more sensitive retinas. The high energy output of blue light and our eyes’ inability to protect the retinas from it appears to cause damage similar to macular degeneration, an eye disease mostly affecting people over 65 that
can lead to blindness. These similarities to macular degeneration have scientists worried that our increased exposure to blue light could lead to more cases of it. HowCan YouMinimize Exposure? Many computers and electronic devices have a “night shift” option built into them. Enabling this feature will dim the screen and lower the amount of blue light that your device emits. There are also removable filters you can put on your computer screen. Brands like RetinaShield/Tech Armor and Eyesafe are designed to limit the amount of blue light your eyes are exposed to. To avoid eye strain, talk to your eye doctor about blue light glasses. These tinted glasses, which come in prescription and nonprescription versions, reduce the amount of blue light that reaches your eyes. Remember, blue light itself is just a natural form of light and isn’t inherently bad. During the day, it can even be beneficial to get some natural blue light from sunshine — while wearing sunglasses, of course. But it’s also a good idea to take precautions to protect your eyes from artificial blue light, especially if your work environment and hobbies expose you to it frequently.
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