Back to School: Blue Light and Children’s Eyes
We are indeed living in strange times. This is true for both you as an adult and your children. School learning will take a turn into uncharted territories for most as schools across the country have announced that learning will take place remotely, at least through the end of the year.
Remote learning means your child will be sitting in front of a computer screen, tablet, or television for hours at a time. These devices produce what is known as blue light, which can cause eye strain. To help protect your child from eye strain and to make sure they are healthy while remaining at home, this is what you need to know about blue light and children’s eyes.
Blue Light and Children’s Eyes – All You Need To Know
Here’s all you need to know about the blue light and children’s eyes:
What Is Blue Light?
If you’re a photographer, you might have some understanding of color light, but if not, let’s dive a bit deeper into the idea of color light. The human eye can detect different shades of color (ultraviolet light, for example, is a form of light, but invisible to the human eye). The sun naturally produces varying rays of orange, red, yellow, and even blue and green. With all of the colors combined in the color spectrum, it creates what is referred to as white light. If you’ve shopped for light bulbs, you’ve probably seen “white light” or “sunlight” listed on a bulb package. This is designed to mimic the color spectrum of the sun.
Different colors of light are made up of energy. Brighter colors, such as red and orange, have longer wavelengths and are made up of less energy (each wave is longer, so it doesn’t take as much). Shorter wavelengths require more energy. These shorter wavelengths include blue and purple.
Due to this, blue light produces more light energy. Blue and purple rays of light are the last colors on the color spectrum your eyes can see before it becomes ultraviolet light or UV radiation. Essentially, blue and purple are as close to UV radiation as you can get and still see the color.
Blue and violet light are just above UV light, which can lead to the development of cancer. Because blue light is powerful, the rays pass through the eyelids. You cannot close your eyes and block out the blue light, which means extensive blue light can reach your cornea and retinas.
Extensive Blue Light Exposure
Beyond the sun, which produces the bluest light, electronics produce blue light. This means if your child is taking part in online learning, they will be in front of a computer screen for hours at a time. Extensive exposure increases your child’s potential for developing macular degeneration. This occurs when the retina is constantly under the bombardment of blue light. Over time this can lead to permanent vision loss. Now, your child will not lose their vision at such a young age. However, after prolonged years of blue light, this can lead to vision loss. Because your child is still developing, this can stunt some development, leading to premature vision loss.
At the very least, the blue light will contribute to digital eye strain. Digital eye strain may result in headaches and a struggle to focus on what your child is working on. To avoid digital eye strain and to protect your child from premature vision loss, you will want to block out the blue and violet light from reaching your child’s eyes.
Try Blue Light Filters
Now, it is essential to point out that blue light is not all bad. Light from the sun is vital in delivering vitamin D to your body. You just need to protect your child while they are in front of a computer screen while taking part in online learning. The best way to do this is to utilize what is known as a blue light filter.
Blue light filters will block out the majority of the blue light a digital screen produces. There are a handful of filter options you can consider. One is a screen that is placed over the screen. This is helpful if you’re going to be sitting in front of a single screen that won’t move around, just like a desktop computer. Some thin protectors can be placed over a laptop screen or a tablet that works, although it may reduce how well it reacts to touch when it is a touchscreen.
Probably the best option for your child is for them to wear blue light glasses. These glasses look and feel like a traditional pair of eyeglasses. Only these are used to block out the blue light. This makes it easier to move from one device to the next without purchasing multiple screen filters for the different devices you own.
Protect Your Children’s Eyes With Piedmont EyeCare
School, at least for the foreseeable future, is going to be very different for your children. Hopefully, they can get back to safe in-person learning soon, but for the time being, the safest option is to keep your children at home. However, while this keeps them safe, it also puts them at risk due to extensive blue light exposure. This blue light can cause strain on your child’s eyes, which is why you need to do what you can to avoid this. Hopefully by now you have got some information about blue light and children’s eyes.
Here at Piedmont EyeCare, we offer several options, including fitting your child for glasses that will block out this blue light. Even if they don’t need prescription lenses, these are especially beneficial. So, if you want to make sure your child is protected this school year, now is the perfect time to make an appointment with our staff here at Piedmont EyeCare. We can provide eye examinations to make sure your child’s vision is good and make any necessary recommendations for caring for your child’s vision throughout the upcoming school year. You can also contact us for more information about blue light and children’s eyes.