Way after it’s time for lights out at bedtime, many teens and students keep their electronic devices on and glowing. All of these devices, including smartphones, tablets and computer screens, emit blue light, which can be detrimental to a good night’s sleep.
Olathe Eye Doctor Warns: Blue light leads to less sleep
Generally, your body releases the hormone melatonin a few hours before your standard bedtime. Melatonin reduces alertness and signals the body that it is time to sleep. Unfortunately, blue light prevents the brain from releasing a sufficient quantity of this hormone, which affects the ability to doze off. Late at night, teens typically feel more awake than adults do, because of shifts in their circadian rhythm. This makes them even more vulnerable to the harmful impact of blue light on sleep.
What’s the problem with teens sleeping less?
Sleep deprivation in teens can lead to a slew of problems that resemble symptoms of depression, anxiety or ADHD. Physical health also suffers, as the body needs enough zzz’s to boost immunity and keep the cardio system strong. Insufficient sleep can also lead to learning difficulties, such as poor memory, trouble with problem solving, and short attention spans. Even teenage emotional behaviors, such outbursts of anger or crying, can stem from lack of sleep. In sum, the hazards of blue light are far-reaching!
What is Computer Vision Syndrome?
Computer vision refers to a particular type of eyestrain caused by spending long periods on a computer or electronic device. For obvious reasons, contemporary teens are extremely susceptible to this condition.
Many factors play into the development of computer vision syndrome. Poor lighting and/or glare from the computer screen are often to blame. Sitting with poor posture or at an improper distance from the monitor can be the culprit, too. If your teen is typing while researching from printed materials, invest in a document holder; ideally, reference materials should be placed above the keyboard and below the sight line of the monitor.
The degree of discomfort is in direct proportion to the amount of time spent gazing at a digital display. Many teens find that they can prevent eyestrain by taking breaks. After using a computer for two hours, 15 minutes of rest time are great for the eyes! It’s also smart look off into the distance about every half-hour, thereby giving your eyes a chance to refocus. Staring at a screen also causes reduced blinking, so try to blink more frequently!
Common symptoms of computer vision syndrome include:
- Blurry vision
- Dry eyes
- Neck, shoulder and back pain
At present, the temporary effects of computer vision have been studied and documented, but more research is needed to determine if there is any permanent damage to the eyes.
Computer glasses can help teens
Computer glasses can protect eyes against blue light and help prevent many of the bothersome symptoms of computer vision. These specialized eyeglasses are designed to address the visual needs of teens, students, and all adults who use electronic devices constantly. With special coatings to block blue light, computer glasses may also help your teen to fall asleep earlier and for longer each night!
Computer glasses emphasize comfortable intermediate viewing, which describes the distance of most digital screens from your eyes. They enhance your ability to focus on the computer screen, leading to a more comfortable vision experience. Computer glasses are also fit with lenses that have various technologies to block blue light. These lenses filter out blue light, which minimizes or eliminates the potential threats to your eye health. By decreasing the amount of blue light shining into your eyes, computer use becomes more comfortable too. Crizal® PrevenciaTM blocks short wavelength Blue-Violet light.
For more info about blue light, computer vision, and how you can protect your teen’s eyes and vision, please contact our eye doctors at Galbrecht Eyecare. We stay on top of all the latest developments in optometry, such as computer glasses and other advanced ways to prevent damage caused by computers and digital displays.