The month of March has been declared Workplace Eye Wellness Month by Prevent Blindness. The goal of this month is to educate employers and employees about the dangers of blue light and digital devices and ways they can protect their vision on and off the job.
The sunlight is the largest source of blue light. For those that work in the field this may be a distraction or hindrance at times. There is also growing concern of screen exposure (from TV, computer, cell phone, and tablet screens) because of the close proximity to the screen, the length of time we spend looking at them, and the effects that they may have long-term.
There has been early research that indicates too much blue light exposure can lead to digital eyestrain and retina damage. The causes of digital eyestrain are fatigue, dry eyes, and bad lighting, with symptoms including sore or irritated eyes and having a difficult time focusing. When one is exposed to blue light for continued amounts of time, studies suggest that it can lead to damaged retinal cells. Damaged retinal cells could cause vision problems such as cataracts. There’s been a report from The Vision Council where they did a survey and 80% of respondents use digital devices for over two hours per day, and 67% use two devices at the same time.
There are efforts that can be made to prevent eye injuries such as knowing the eye safety dangers at work, proper eye protection, and taking breaks from screens at least once every hour. Frequent breaks from screens are preferred. The report from The Vision Council can be found here.