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Little girl with a tablet

Children love computers and video games, but the blue light these devices emit can damage young eyes. While computer games may help them learn problem-solving skills, the blue light emanating from computer and TV screens can affect their vision and overall health. As children take to digital devices at increasingly early ages, this is a growing problem. That is why parents should manage their children’s blue light exposure.

How it Hurts

Blue light, is part of the visible light spectrum, provides illumination and can generate feelings of well-being. But blue light also affects vision adversely over time, potentially damaging our vision. This is especially so for children as their undeveloped eyes lack the pigments that help filter out harmful doses of blue light.

The most significant risk may be that blue light suppresses melatonin secretion, which is a hormone that is important for healthy sleep. Extended periods of sleep loss can contribute to behavioral problems, weight gain, and suppress immunity. Blue light has also been found to impose stress on the retina, which can lead to early onset macular degeneration.

Protect Your Children’s Eyes

An easy way to protect young eyes from blue light is to limit their use of electronic devices. Have them put the games down one hour before bedtime, and encourage them to read or draw. You can also dim device screens, which will limit the intensity of the blue light they are exposed to. Finally, you may choose eye protection. Yellow polycarbonate lenses are believed to offer full protection from blue light. Ask your eye doctor about blue-filtering lenses like eyezen lenses.

What you can do

Standing between your child and a digital device may be a challenge, but developing better habits early will help the child adjust. And, whether they know it or not, they will be happier at the end of the day having engaged in more creative activities than just watching cartoons and playing video games.

Staying on top of regular eye exams for your children (and yourself) is important to monitor eyes for the potential effects of harmful blue light. If you don’t have an appointment on the books, you can schedule an exam online now.