In today’s tech-driven world, exposure to blue light has become highly unavoidable.
With the advent of artificial light, it is being emitted from the devices we use daily. These include LEDs, phones, computers, TVs, and other devices with screens.
Though blue light when subjects are exposed to it in daytime, artificial blue light has raised significant concerns about its negative health effects. Researchers and experts are especially concerned about individuals who get prolonged exposure to it—such as gamers.
Most avid ones have noticed the negative effects of blue light while gaming for longer periods. If your eyes also feel dry and sore after gaming, you have likely experienced them too.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss in detail the effects of blue light while gaming as well as how to reduce exposure for optimum eye health.
Here’s How Blue Light Affects Gamers
Have you ever had sore, strained, or puffy eyes after gaming for a few hours? It’s probably because of exposure to blue light while gaming.
It’s important to note that blue light doesn’t always cause harm. When emitted in limited amounts from its main source (the sun), it suppresses melatonin and alerts the body during the day by regulating our circadian rhythm.
However, tech devices emit copious amounts of blue light that can have detrimental effects on the human body. This includes the screens of gaming computers, phones, and even consoles, such as Nintendo Switches. They also don’t wane in strength as natural light does. So, it’s not surprising to think gamers get plenty of exposure to blue light while gaming.
High-energy visible (HEV), also known as blue light, is emitted in the form of electromagnetic waves like other kinds of light. It is a visible light, which means it has a shorter wavelength. As a matter of fact, visible light is the only part of the light spectrum we can see with the naked eye. They are measured to be somewhere between 380 and 700 nanometres. This means they are shorter than radio waves but longer than gamma ones (measured in picometres).
While almost all parts of the light spectrum can be harmful to eye health, it’s especially true for blue light. Unfortunately, human eyes are delicate and are sensitive to the visible light spectrum, especially to shorter wavelengths. Blue light has one of the most concise wavelengths in the visible light spectrum, which means it contains high energy. It also comprises 25% of all visible forms of light.
One gets exposed to blue light while gaming as it passes through the cornea and the lens and into the retina in the back of the eye. The natural filters in the human eyes don’t provide ample protection against the damage the wavelength causes. This results in eye strain, fatigue, etc. Children are especially sensitive to blue light since the lens in their eyes has not yet developed properly to safeguard them.
What Kind of Damages Occur from Exposure to Blue Light While Gaming?
Researchers have connected various health problems to blue light exposure. These include, but aren’t limited to, eye strain, obesity, depression, etc. However, some of the most common ones include:
Digital Eye Strain
Blue light exposure while gaming can cause severe problems, such as eye strain. Also known as computer vision syndrome, the condition is a group of various eye and vision-related problems. These usually occur from increased stress related to looking at screens for longer periods.
Staring at a screen for more than a few minutes can stress the eyes and force them to work harder. As a consequence, the increased visual demands of viewing a digital screen for long hours can leave them susceptible to digital strain. It can take even as little as staring at a screen for two hours to cause it.
In the past few years, more and more cases of digital eye strain have been reported. It’s also affecting both adults and children. The condition causes the affected individual’s eyes to feel tired. As a result, those with the problem can have a hard time focusing on the tasks at hand. It’s why gamers can often find it challenging to concentrate after a few hours.
Digital strain caused by exposure to blue light while gaming can also cause the following symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Discomfort in eyes
- Dry eyes
- Watery eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Pain in the neck and shoulders
- Reddened eyes
- Stressed and strained eyes
- Tired eyes
Retinal Damage and Macular Degeneration from Blue Light Exposure
We already discussed that blue wavelength passes from the cornea to the retina. Many researchers connect them to retinal damage. They believe prolonged exposure to blue light can damage the cells in the retina and lead to severe problems, such as age-related macular degeneration. Even according to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, blue wavelength emission can possibly contribute to the development of the condition.
Though the issue is mostly connected to age, it can also develop from extended exposure to blue light while gaming, streaming, working, etc. Additionally, it can also lead to other severe problems such as cataracts, eye cancer, etc.
Can You Reduce Exposure to Blue Light While Gaming?
Though exposure to blue light while gaming can be severe, there are various ways to reduce its effects. The simplest answer would be to ditch all digital devices. However, in the modern world, that’s easier said than done. Most of us play games to relax and wind down after work, however, we also use tech devices for work.
That’s why we’re listing simple methods to help individuals significantly curtail their exposure to blue light without affecting their gaming schedules.
Get Blue Light Glasses
Blue light glasses are manufactured to prevent exposure to blue wavelengths. These have special lenses with coats and tints to reflect, filter, and block out blue light from entering the eyes. Though more research is needed, most experts believe that blue light glasses benefit users.
As a matter of fact, some researchers conducted a study in 2017 on two groups of people. Only one had to wear blue light glasses when exposed to blue light. After a month, they concluded that those who wore blue light glasses had better eye health and experienced less itching and strain in their eyes.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology also recommends individuals wear such glasses when they know they will be exposed to blue light for extended periods. It’s also recommended individuals wear them when going out.
The only downside to blue light glasses is that one has to remember wearing them. So, it’s not unlikely that you might forget to wear or carry them with you to prevent exposure to blue light while gaming. It might also be challenging to find high-quality glasses without a prescription. That’s why we recommend buying from trusted brands with leading optometrists designing products, such as MyBlueProtector.com.
Consider Blue Light Filters
If you’re likely to forget to wear glasses, blue light filters are a much better option. These are applied onto screens to prevent light emission from layers of liquid crystals between filters and electrodes in the screens. Similar to blue light glasses, blue light filters are manufactured to block exposure to high-energy blue light.
They are affordable solutions and can be applied to all devices. However, all blue light filters aren’t built the same. Those manufactured poorly can turn the screen yellow and offer minimal protection against blue light while gaming. So, it’s wise to buy from leading companies, such as MyBlueProtector.com.
Benefits of Blue Light Blockers
Blue light blockers, such as blue light glasses or filters come with various benefits. These include:
- They reduce eye strain
Prolonged exposure to screens can cause discomfort in the eyes. It can even lead to digital eye strain. Blue light blockers can significantly curtail eye strain as they keep the eyes covered and save them from high-energy blue light. They also reduce other symptoms of digital eye strain, such as blurred vision and headaches.
- Helps individuals slow down or prevent age-related macular degeneration
Though the cornea and eye lens are good at blocking harmful light, short wavelength light can still enter the retina and affect it. Blue light blockers prevent wavelengths from penetrating the eyes all the way to the retina. This can significantly mitigate damage and slow down (or even prevent) age-related macular degeneration.
If you’re on the lookout for blockers to prevent exposure to blue light while gaming, MyBlueProtector.com’s products today! We are the official supplier of Ocushield® products, which are FDA-registered, MHRA-approved, and medically rated blue light blockers. Our products include blue light filters for computers, screens, and laptops, blue light screen protectors for Nintendo switches, and anti-blue light glasses for adults and children.
Contact us today for details.