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Devices and Eye Strain

Optometrist Sydney CBD

Optometrist Sydney CBD


We are the first generation to carry digital devices on our person. And we spend a considerable amount of time looking at smartphones, computer monitor, TVs and other equipment. The long effects of this are still not fully understood, but we do know that the blue light emitted by digital screens does have some effect on our eyes.


Blue light is similar to the ultraviolet light (UV) that causes sunburn. Both UV and blue light are known to penetrate to the back of the eye and cause long term damage to our vision, though UV light is the far more harmful of the two. In the past, before the invention of computers and tv monitors, blue light exposure was fairly mild, so that damage was minimal, often only showing up in extreme old age. Today, with constant exposure to digital screens, there is serious concern that blue light will cause permanent vision problems by middle age.


Another more immediate problem with blue light is its effect on circadian rhythms, our sleeping pattern. Exposure to blue light (and UV) will keep us awake. This can be a serious problem when we use a computer device late at night. We will have trouble sleeping after using a smartphone or similar device.


Blue Light will:

  • Cause eye strain over time, perhaps a few hours.
  • Blue light will keep us awake, even if we are tired.
  • Blue light will slowly damage the photo receptor cells at the back of our eyes, causing vision loss as we reach old or even middle age.
  • Blue light will cause the skin, mostly our face, to age more quickly.


The symptoms of Digital eye stain include:

  • Fatigue, or just a feeling of stain.
  • Dry eyes, itchy, red eyes.
  • Blurred vision
  • Poor Concentration
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia, despite being tired
  • Neck, shoulder or back pain



Optometrist Sydney CBD


There are a few effective methods to remove or greatly reduce our exposure to blue light. One is to alter the colour display on computers, smartphones and devices. Many of these have a night viewing mode, which turns down the blue element in the display. Else, is it often possible to manually turn down the blue on the monitor. In some cases people will attach a thin transparent film to the monitor screen that filters out most blue light.


Optometrists can provide a coating to most glasses that block UV light. This works rather like high quality sunglasses. The Blue light is blocked by the lenses in the glasses and the eyes are protected. Best of all, this has no disenable side effects; the glasses work normally, and our vision with the glasses is clear.


Blue light coating on glasses will protect the eyes from damage, and reduce eye strain, though the skin on our face will still be exposed to blue light.



Optometrist Sydney CBD

Talk to the optometrist about anti-blue light coating for your glasses, or for other ways to protect your eyes from UV and blue light.

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