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Blue light is all around us. It's a natural part of the light spectrum and is responsible for the happy, cheerful feeling you get when you spend time in the warm sunshine. You can get too much of a good thing, though. At The Eye Center, our South Tulsa optometrist is treating a growing number of patients with a wide variety of symptoms, all due to too much blue light exposure. The results can range from minor irritations to permanent damage, so it's important that you take a look at your blue light exposure and take steps to minimize it.
Blue light is everywhere in your life, including the sunlight you see every time you go outdoors. This has normally been the largest source of this light, but other sources have been overshadowing the sun as a source in the past decades. Some of the more common sources you'll be exposed to today are:
Since the length of time spent in front of screens, in addition to the closeness they usually are to the eyes, optometrists are increasingly concerned with computer and device usage in both children and adults.
Children are especially at risk from too much exposure to blue light. Kids do a lot of homework online today, and many of them have their own tablets, smart phones, and other handheld devices, which they're using for long periods of time. Children's eyes are still in the developmental stages, which means they haven't yet gotten the protective pigments that adults have that protect their eyes from some of the damage blue light can do. Just like with adults, the more exposure they have, the worst damage it can do.
Our eye care doctor has treated patients with a wide variety of problems due to overexposure to blue light. In the mildest cases, too much blue light can cause itchy, watery, burning eyes, eye strain that causes blurry vision, and an inability to focus clearly. In most cases, this can be relieved by taking breaks away from digital devices and limiting their exposure.
Because of the way blue light excites and affects your brain, exposure late at night can have a serious effect on sleep patterns. Many insomnia patients finally find relief by turning off all devices at least 90 minutes before bed time, switching to reading or other activities to wind down instead of television or video games.
In the worst cases, doctor teams around the world are finding a correlation between prolonged blue light exposure and the early development of cataracts and macular degeneration. Since blue light exposure is cumulative, which means it adds up over time, limiting your exposure today can help prevent serious eye damage decades in your future.
Exposure to blue light is something that everyone lives with, and in most cases, overexposure will only cause annoying symptoms. In some cases, though, serious eye damage is the result with can even cause blindness in the most severe cases. It's important to talk with an eye care professional to find out about your blue light exposure, and to get tips on how to reduce your risks. Our experienced team is ready to help. Call our eye doctor in Bixby at 918-369-3937, or in Okmulgee at 918-756-0316 to make an appointment.
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