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Light is paramount for sight. When the light comes into contact with a part of your eye called the retina, special cells in your eyes turn light into electrical signals that pass through your optic nerve (communication cable between your eyes and your brain) to your brain, and your brain turns those signals into images. The colours of light your eyes can see are the same colours of the rainbow, though there are other invisible light waves your eyes cannot see.

Blue light is the most common source of light around. The largest form of blue light is sunlight. Did you know that sunlight boosts memory, alertness, and mood? The sun also regulates sleep and wakes pattern, as well as aids in the growth and development of children’s eyes and vision.

However, there are other sources of blue light, namely LED TVs, computer screens, tablets, smartphones, and fluorescent lights, which have a slightly more adverse effect on your eyes.

Here are a few ways blue light damages your eye and how to mitigate it.

  1. Macular degenerated problems. Excess blue light exposure can weaken and in the long run, damage your retina cell. If you notice you are having reoccurring blurred vision, then you probably are exposing your eyes to surplus blue light.
  2. Dry eyes. This occurs when you view a screen for an extended period without blinking. Blinking helps keep your eyes lubricated. The best remedy for this, when you are watching something or working on your screen, is to take frequent breaks and look far away, preferably outside at the skies or a tall tree, so your eyes get the needed relief.
  3. Sleep pattern disruption. This occurs when you do not allow your body to regulate itself naturally. If you work all day and watch screens all night, especially with excess light, you are telling your body that it is not nighttime, which is rest time, and your eyes will operate that way. The best remedy is to either read a book or listen to music and not work on your computer or watch TV at least two hours before bedtime, to give your body the right sleep cue.

It is now more than ever crucial with the advance of technology, to protect your eyes from excessive strain and damage, and one of the best ways to do this is by booking an appointment and speaking with your doctor about any concerns you might have and devising solutions, particularly if the problem stems from the type of work you do. Solutions range from using blue light-blocking lenses to the use of tears supplements for dry eyes. See your eye care practitioner to prescribe the best solution for you.