The Light of Our Lives


Lucy Pham

Direct blue light can always affect your vision no matter the time of day

Lucy Pham, Writer

When was the last time you looked at your phone? A few minutes ago? Maybe an hour? Due to the rapid advances in technology, the world has witnessed a growth in the use of digital hand held devices. Every day the common person spends over 5 hours on his or her phone, with an average of 150 pickups a day. Have you ever considered the damage it’s done?

Our everyday lives revolve around technology: for instance, TVs for entertainment, computers for research, and phones for basic necessity, to name a few. However, all of those have one main harmful thing in common: LEDs. Phones and many digital devices use an LED-based screen. Those screens emit a destructive blue light which can be extremely harmful to your vision and general eye health. Almost all visible blue light passes through your cornea and lens to reach the retina. This light wears away at your cornea and degenerates your macula, the light sensing area at the back of the eyes. The indicated effect is called macular degeneration (AMD), which permanently damages the eyes and vision. This disease usually develops as a person ages, however recently there have been many cases of premature AMD, with more than 200,000 cases a year in the US.

Nerve damage isn’t the only thing that blue light effects. Studies have shown that blue light disrupts our circadian rhythm, your body’s natural alarm clock. Too much exposure at night can disturb your wake and sleep cycle leading to insomnia or daytime tiredness. Besides fatigue and dilapidating vision, another common effect is digital eyestrain. This is a problem that results from prolonged computer or phone use which can cause sore or irritated eyes, and a difficulty focusing.

With the constant exposure to blue light, many ways have been discovered to decrease the harmful effects and overall damage. For instance with many modern technological devices, there are filters which mask the blue lights, giving off warmer tones that help relax our brain and eyes. There have also been specific computer glasses which have a yellow tint to block blue light and ease digital eyestrain. Besides those two examples, many other solutions have been created to prevent, or lessen the problem. However why not just put down your phone for a minute? Stop checking your Instagram feed for the nth time that day. Stop scrolling through TikTok looking for the latest memes. Just simply, put down your phone and go outside. Hang out with friends, meet some new people. A phone isn’t required to live life and see the world, so why ruin your chance to see it?