Love my eye doctor: What I learned today about blue light and working at a computer

I had my bi-annual check up today on my eyes.

I always learn so much during my appointment, my optometrist is a smart lady!

She said my eyes are doing great, but she could tell right away I look at a computer all day. She said my eyeballs were really dry. Drinking water all day is the best thing to do while working, but I already do that. She recommended Systane Ultra lubricant eye drops, one drop mid-morning and another mid-afternoon so I’m giving them a try. I didn’t realize my eyes were dry until she mentioned it. I’m fascinated that she can tell by looking in them. She said the texture of a dry eye is completely different.

I had to ask her about “burn in” while I was there. I hate looking at websites with black backgrounds and white fonts, and would rather click away than read one. As soon as I look away, the image has been burned into my eye and I can’t see things right for a bit. She said that is because I have light blue eyes. People who don’t mind dark websites tend to have dark eyes and don’t have the burn in factor. She said it can actually last 3-5 minutes!

We were talking about computers and glare and she brought me up to speed on blue light. It is natural, in the sunlight, but there is a type of blue light that can cause cataracts and macular degeneration, especially in light blue eyes like mine. She said the concern now is that compact fluorescent and LED lighting has a lot of blue light, and so do our devices, especially tablets. What they don’t yet know is if this indoor light will also cause macular degeneration or not. It is something they’ll be studying over the next few decades on all of us who have a lot of screen time. She recommended this new coating for eye glasses that blocks just this particular, possibly harmful, blue light, but while keeping the good blue light still coming into your eye. The cost wasn’t significant, so I ordered it on the new pair of glasses I picked out today.

Here is an interesting paper about blue light I just found online:

The Lowdown on Blue Light: Good vs. Bad, and Its Connection to AMD

My optometrist also told me about how people who spend more time outside have less chance of near-sightedness (myopia). The rates are growing so much it was thought it was caused by more reading or looking at devices, but studies have shown just being outside was key and the good effects on the eyes can even pass on to a baby through pregnancy. The sun is a wonderful thing! Here is one of the articles about the study:

The myopia boom: Short-sightedness is reaching epidemic proportions. Some scientists think they have found a reason why.

Lisa

Lisa (Verkley) Schuyler is a blogger reporting live from her new home in Canada's Yukon Territory. Often found wearing a hoodie, covered in pet hair, Lisa is a mis-placed forester who now spends her days engineering happiness for WordPress users. Lisa loves nature, animals, and most importantly, her handsome husband Jeff.

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