Archive for November, 2014

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As soon as I started working in IT my dad the eye doctor prompted me on the effects of blue light on the eye. Something about macular degeneration or whatever. Wondering what the hell he was talking about I asked for more information on this and what it had to do with staring at a computer screen for eight hours a day.

I knew enough about it originally that like our ancestors, the human body reacts to light and dark liken to day and night. You rise and fall with the sun, signaling a hard days work in the sun and when sky went dark you went to sleep. Not so much anymore these days. It seems a lot of people, (specifically the college aged) stay up late, stare at their iPhone and Mac Book all day and hardly get enough Vitamin D.

The average person spends seven hours a day in front of a blue lit screen. Between our phones, computers, TV’s, indoor lights, and ya know, the sun, we’re getting blue light from all angles. But I mean if it comes from the sun why does it matter if it comes from electronics?

Although some exposure to this light is needed to prevent seasonal affective disorder, where you become depressed due to the lack of light, too much blue light can be correlated to an aging to the eyes or age-related macular degeneration, which in turn can lead to blindness.

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Ray Charles loved it.

To dig a little deeper, the human eye can see light between 380 and 780 on the elecrtro magnetic spectrum. Above 780 becomes infrared and below 380 is ultraviolet. Scientists have known blue light to be powerful for some time now. The next step after visible blue light are the UV rays sun screen is recommended for.

If they recommended sun screen for the next lower than blue light to protect our skin from damage, shouldn’t we be doing the same for eyes? Everyone knows not to stare into the sun like an idiot, but how much does the average person know about eye health?

I wonder what the trend would look like from 1980 to now concerning number of people with some form of corrective lenses.

If you’ve heard of flux you probably know the benefits of dimming/warming your computer screen as the day goes on to match the light you get from the sun. Changing the setting of your computers display from a high energy blue-violet light to a lower energy warm red light, you can observe the effects of less eye strain, more melatonin production, and a deeper good nights sleep.

What flux fails to mention, is that it can also act as a buffer between you and blue light. (Although if you really wanted to, some lense crafters do make glasses specifically to block out blue light.) Aside from warming your display to match the light from the sun, you can alter the settings to a 100% filter. The default lowest setting at night only goes to about 75% filter. I keep mine at a constant 100% filter.

For specifically health reasons only, if you work in an environment where you stare at a blue lit screen all day, but have an HR department getting in your way they almost have to give it to you. Unless your computer is connected to a highly secured network with no room for unnecessary risk, cite it as a health concern and you should have some serious clout.

In the journey of self improvement it is important to keep ourselves informed and in good health.

Peace.

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