How To Protect Your Eyes From Blue Light

A man sits in front of two monitors.

Written by: Jay H.

Most people use their digital devices for a significant number of hours in their day. Canadians average six hours per day connected to the Internet with any device, and this number is only growing as our digital life becomes more entwined with our physical life. With all of this time in front of screens, people are exposed to blue light, which can be detrimental to eye health.

All devices emit blue light, a high-energy, short-wavelength light that can damage your eyes from prolonged exposure. Although the sun also exposes us to blue light, the concern with devices is the proximity to users and the high-frequency of use. Excessive exposure to blue light can cause eye strain, headaches, retina damage, and sleeping troubles. These issues are amplified in children.

1. Limit screen time

Putting a limit on your screen time is the most effective way to minimize your blue light exposure. However, when limiting your exposure isn’t possible, instead give your eyes frequent breaks. One easy method is the 20/20/20 rule, which states that you should take a break from your computer every twenty minutes and look at something at least twenty feet away for twenty minutes.

2. Wear Blue Light Glasses

If you spend hours in front of your screens, consider investing in a pair of blue-light-blocking glasses. As the name implies, these glasses protect your eyes from much of the blue light emitted from your devices. You do not need to be a glasses-wearer to use them; however, your optician can add blue light lenses to your prescription if you are. These glasses are relatively inexpensive, so they’re a good option for those who must be in front of their screens.

3. Enable Blue Light Filter or Night Mode

As the concern for blue light exposure grows, device manufacturers are starting to add anti-blue-light capabilities on their machines. For instance, Apple devices have a ‘Night Mode’ feature that can be accessed through the settings. This setting filters out blue light and changes your display to emit warmer light. If you’re spending a lot of time on your devices, check to see if they have a blue light filter setting you can enable. Your eyes will thank you.

4. Download Blue Light Filter Software

If your devices or monitors don’t have blue-light-filtering capabilities built into them, consider downloading software that does. For instance, f.lux automatically adjusts your computer’s display throughout the day. Using software can help protect your eyes from excessive blue light exposure.

The long-term effects blue light exposure has on your eyes isn’t entirely known. However, prevention is key in maintaining your eye health, so take precautions if you are an avid screen user.

Now that you know how to protect your eyes from blue light, learn about protecting yourself while working from home.

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