Helping teens keep healthy sleep habits over summer break can be a big job. Helping them get to sleep at a reasonable time starts with making sure they are not on their electronic devices late into the night because those devices tend to keep attention going. One reason for that is the blue light the screens put off. Recent iOS updates include the option to set iPhones and iPads to not emit blue light at night, and the screen takes on a orange color. Blue light not only boosts our attention but it can also have an impact on the health of your eyes.
Dr. Marcus Meyer with ABBA Eye Care in Colorado Springs says, “Blue light is from about 400 to 490 in wave length. The most harmful radiation is the low range blue light, from 400 to 440 in wave length, that is the harmful blue light. You don't want that wave length getting in your eye because it goes right past the front of the eye, and goes to the back of the eye, to the retina and causes macular degeneration.”
Dr. Meyer also says for kids log who a significant amount of screen time on a daily basis, you may want to consider asking your eye doctor about lenses that can filter out blue light. "If you have a young child on these iPads and all these instruments, they all emit blue light. What happens is it gets in a young child's eye, goes right to the back of the eye, and there is nothing to block it, so you will have more problems with these young children with retinal problems possibly in the future. Some lenses have coating and if you look at them they look really blue, because they are reflecting the blue light away from coming into the eye. Some lenses selectively filter out blue light, they won't filter out the higher blue light spectrum, 465 to 470 wavelength because that's is your turquoise light and you need that for sleep patterns"
Blue light wavelengths are beneficial during daylight hours, but with cell phone and tablets becoming more and more a part our lives they may begin to have an impact on our eye health and our sleep patterns. If you have any questions, follow up with your eye doctor.