LED Blue Light

Blue light and how it affects your vision

The blue light produced artificially, particularly by LED lighting, reach deep in the tissues of the eye and may damage some retinal cells.  Certain wavelengths of blue light may be a factor in age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  Prolonged use of computers, tablets and cell phones means exposure to blue-violet light is on the rise. Blue light can contribute to digital eye strain and fatigue. Energy-saving, cool-burning LED lights may be particularly harmful with prolonged exposure.

Who is at risk?

People at risk are those who are exposed to white LED and fluorescent lights in the workplace and in the home.  As well, those who spend a great deal of time in front of LED computer monitors, which includes tablets, cell phones and television screens.  Because prolonged exposure affects the retina, those with a family history of AMD or who have other risk factors such as smoking or who are over the age of 50 should take precautions against harmful blue light.

Too much blue light?  What to watch for.

With increased use of digital devices and energy-saving indoor lighting, harmful blue light is virtually impossible to avoid.  Because prolonged exposure kills retinal cells over time, the negative effects of blue light and the potential damage isn’t realized until vision becomes impaired due to AMD.  Symptoms of AMD include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Blank spots in central vision
  • Darkened vision
Diagnosis, treatment and prevention

Exposure to harmful blue light can accelerate AMD. Your eyecare professional can administer a variety of visual tests to measure changes in your central vision.  A diagnosis can generally only be confirmed by examining the retina by means of a comprehensive retinal examination.  Damage from blue light will be similar to AMD and will manifest as a change in the retinal pigment.  However, this type of damage as a result of blue light exposure is preventable.  Companies are looking at blue-blocking technology for the workplace and sunglass lens manufacturers are developing products to block harmful blue/violet wavelengths while allowing the healthy wavelengths through.  Limiting use of artificial lights is also recommended.

You only have one set of eyes. If you are concerned about your vision and the health of your eyes, make sure to book regular visits with an Optometrist.