How Blue Light Affects Our Eyes

Most people have heard that they should reduce their exposure to blue light. But it’s common to have questions, including why blue light could be harmful and how it affects the eye. If you’d like to find out more about blue light, here’s a look at what it is and how it could impact your eyes.  

The Light Spectrum  

Sunlight is a natural light source that appears white. However, it’s made up of a full-color spectrum, including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet light. That’s what allows rainbows to happen. Water droplets in the air separate the colors visually, creating the rainbow look.  

Different colors of light have different wavelengths. Red rays have a longer wavelength, causing them to have less energy. In comparison, blue rays’ wavelengths are shorter and have more energy.  

Where Blue Light Comes From  

Blue light is produced by a range of sources. The sun is a natural source of blue light, for one. However, there are also numerous sources of artificial blue light, including:  

  • Smartphones  
  • Tablets  
  • Computer screens  
  • Televisions  
  • LED lightbulbs  
  • CFL lightbulbs  
  • Fluorescent lightbulbs  

Blue light isn’t inherently bad. In fact, it can provide some benefits, including boosting alertness and supporting the body’s natural wake cycle.  

While the sun is technically the largest source of blue light, there are concerns regarding artificial blue light exposure. Mainly, this is because people tend to be close to the sources and spend a substantial amount of time focused on them.  

How Blue Light Affects Our Eyes  

When blue light reaches your eyes, nearly all of it passes through the cornea and lens, allowing it to reach the retina. Practically none of it is blocked or reflected, causing it to be absorbed mostly. While our eyes are designed to deal with blue light, artificial sources mean we are taking in far more than we would from natural sources alone. And prolonged exposure could have negative impacts.  

One of the most common effects is digital eye strain. When you look at a screen, you tend to blink less, causing your eyes to fatigue and get dry. Additionally, exposure to artificial blue light may harm circadian rhythms, especially when it occurs late at night.  

Some studies suggest that blue light may actually harm the retina. It could be triggering chemical reactions in the eye that have a toxic effect on retina cells. When that occurs, visual acuity could be damaged over time. There may also be an increased risk of certain conditions, including age-related macular degeneration.  

Protecting Your Eyes from Blue Light  

While getting some exposure to blue light is a good thing, it’s wise to take precautions against prolonged exposure, especially from artificial sources. Begin by limiting your screen time when possible, and take breaks when you use devices to rest your eyes.  

Additionally, consider purchasing screen filters. These can decrease your exposure to blue light by stopping some of the blue light from passing through. Yellow-tinted computer glasses and anti-reflective lens coatings may also help block blue light.  

If you would like to learn more about the effects of blue light and what you can do to keep your eyes healthy, your eye doctor can help. Schedule an appointment at your nearest ECVA clinic today. Our skilled team will listen to your concerns and provide you with guidance, empowering you to make sure your eyes remain as comfortable and healthy.  

woman getting an eye exam

Your Safety is Our Priority

Starting on Monday, May 18, 2020, all ECVA locations will be re-opening. Our goal is to provide high-quality eye care services to each and every one of our patients during these unprecedented times.

Your safety is our priority. As a result, we will be taking extra precautions to ensure your health as well as the health of our staff. We are adhering to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations to preserve the well-being of everyone who comes into our clinics. Here is an overview of any changes you may experience when coming in for an eye care appointment.

Socially Distanced Waiting Areas

Each of the waiting rooms in our clinics has been reconfigured. The adjustments support social distancing standards, ensuring patients can remain appropriately separated during their visits.

Protective Shielding

Reducing the spread of germs is essential. Each ECVA clinic now has protective shielding installed in the reception areas, a step that can mitigate the spread of diseases.

Surgical Mask Requirements

When coming in for an office visit, all patients will have to wear surgical masks. This step can help reduce the spread of germs, keeping both patients and staff members safer.

PPE Use by Staff

When appropriate, staff members may choose to wear additional personal protective equipment (PPE). Along with surgical masks, this can include medical gloves, protective face shields, and protective eyewear.

Handwashing Practices

Handwashing can be an effective approach for combating the spread of germs. Our clinics now have new standards in place that promote more frequent handwashing, a step that enhances safety for patients and staff members alike.


While disinfecting surfaces has always been a priority at ECVA, those efforts are currently enhanced. Along with all equipment used on patients, seating areas and work surfaces are be disinfected regularly throughout the day.

Visitor Limits

As a means of keeping patients and staff members protected, we are requesting that friends or family members who arrive at an appointment with a patient remain in their vehicles. If that is not possible, we ask that only those with an appointment head into the exam room to meet with their doctor.


If you or a household member are experiencing symptoms that may be associated with COVID-19, or you have been recently exposed to anyone with symptoms, we ask that you reschedule your office appointment. The potential symptoms include:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever

We would also like to reiterate that the situation is fluid, and new precautions may be implemented should the need arise. If you have questions regarding the new processes or about your upcoming appointment, or have an emergency eye care need, please contact the ECVA main office at (716) 631-8888. Our team will be happy to speak with you.

We also thank our patients for their patience during these unique times. We look forward to seeing you again starting on May 18.