You’re probably reading this blog post on your computer, smartphone or tablet. Maybe you’re reading it while sitting outside enjoying the beautiful sunshine. Did you know that without the proper eyewear, you could be significantly hurting your eyes? Damaging light in Cape Cod can cause everything from headaches to macular degeneration if you don’t protect your eyes.
The visible light spectrum and your vision
There is a spectrum of light that the eyes can see. On one end of the spectrum, you have the light that emits very little energy with long wavelengths, such as red light. At the other end of the spectrum, you have ultraviolet and blue light, both of which have short wavelengths, meaning these forms of light carry a lot of energy. Between red light and ultraviolet radiation are all of the other colors you see every day. Each color or form of light has a varying wavelength size and amount of energy. As you get closer to the end of the spectrum with blue light and ultraviolet radiation, the more harmful these lights can be to your eyes.
The sun emits some blue light, but a healthy amount that allows the body’s circadian rhythm to stabilize so we sleep well at night. However, the sun isn’t the only object shining blue light into your eyes. Electronic devices such as computer screens, phones and tablets, along with fluorescent and LED lighting, all use blue light.
Even though blue light from the sun is helpful to us, overexposure to it, such as by staring at a computer all day or sitting in an office with fluorescent lighting, causes a number of issues with vision. Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, is the direct result of too much exposure to blue light. Symptoms include headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes and neck and shoulder pain. Blue light is also linked to macular degeneration, which is the loss of vision in the center of vision. Optometrists expect a significant increase in the number of macular degeneration cases as more and more people spend their days staring at screens.
If you spend too much time in direct sunlight without the proper protection, you’ll get a sunburn. The same thing is true for your eyes, which consist of tissue that is just as sensitive as the skin covering the rest of your body. The sun emits three types of radiation: UV-A, UV-B and UV-C. The planet’s ozone layer protects us from UV-C radiation, but UV-A and UV-B do effect both your skin and eyes. While you can use sunscreen on your arms, neck, shoulder and legs, applying this to your eyes won’t result in anything except for a lot of burning and tears.
That is why sunglasses are important to limit the damaging light in Cape Cod that hits your eyes. Make sure to purchase sunglasses that offer 100 percent UV protection. Unfortunately, the inexpensive sunglasses you can buy at convenience stores or the mall don’t offer all of the protection your eyes need against UV-A and UV-B light.
When searching for sunglasses to protect against light that is damaging to their eyes in Cape Cod, patients come to Bayview Optometrics. Since 1997, our team has assisted clients with diagnosing any vision issues while also offering a huge selection of high-quality frames, lenses and contact lenses. Call today to schedule an appointment at Bayview Optometrics!