At the end of 2019, I bet none of us could have imagined that 2020 would look like this.
Even before COVID, digital technology had become ever more ingrained in our society.
Study after study and through our own personal experiences, we have seen that COVID-19 lockdowns have had a profound impact on all our digital habits. Our reliance on technology and digital media to facilitate remote learning, work, and entertainment has only deepened.
According to staggering statistics from Nielsen: average daily digital consumption from Q3 2018 to March 2020, has gone up from 9 hours to 14 hours. That’s a whopping +35% jump in a matter of a year and a half. You can only imagine the kind of unforeseen impact that this constant screen time is having on us and our children’s eyes.
If you think that’s bad, the CDC said that kids between the ages of 8 to 10 spend about 6 hours a day in front of digital screens and that’s not including all the virtual learning they are now doing.
More screen time means a greater risk of digital eye strain. Blurry vision, sore eyes, poor sleep, and headaches. Any of these sound familiar?
If so, it's largely due to the blue light that’s emitting from the digital screens that we’ve been glued to all day long.
Let’s get the facts straight on what blue light is exactly and why we should care!
Did you know that blue light is all around us? And I don’t just mean from all the digital devices that we use day in and day out.
The interesting thing is that the biggest source of blue light that we are exposed to is directly from the sun. As you recall from the polarized article (Benefits of Polarized Sunglasses and Why Your Kids Need Them!) – the light from the sun spans a full spectrum and is comprised of different colors. Red, Yellow, Green, and Blue.
Blue light, specifically, falls within the visible spectrum of sunlight – ranging from 380 to 500nm. As you can see from the diagram below, almost 1/4 of all visible light is considered blue light.
In fact, not all blue light from the sun is bad! The visible and naturally occurring blue light in daylight plays an important role in regulating our circadian rhythm, telling us when to get up and be engaged. I would say that’s kind of important!
Also worth noting is that a little sun each day is healthy for kids.
The limited daily exposure to the sun may help reduce the risk of myopia or slow its progression. However; according to the American Optometric Association – too much of it over time can also be bad because the blue light can reach a child’s retina more readily than an adult’s.
This is because a child’s retina is clearer than adults. Adult’s retinas yellow over time. Similar to why kids should wear sunglasses (check out our article that explains Why Do Kids Really Need to Wear Sunglasses when outside, blue light, and UV light exposure is linked to age-related eye disease.
Beyond naturally occurring blue light from the sun, blue light can also be found in many devices such as digital screens, electronic devices, fluorescent, and LED lighting.
As they say, sometimes too much of a good thing can also be bad.
When kids and adults overdose on the blue light we tend to feel more of its negative effects and that can lead to digital eye strain which has a myriad of symptoms such as
- Headaches and eye aches
- Poor Sleep
- Blurry Visions
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Red itchy eyes
Kids who spend just two consecutive hours on a digital device can experience eyestrain and fatigue.
Kids are especially more susceptible to excess screen time and blue-light can impact the quality of their sleep.
In order to help minimize their exposure, reminding them to put on a comfortable and light-weight blue light blocking glasses whenever they are getting any sort of screen time would help minimize digital eye fatigue.
Our toucca kids blue light filtering glasses are made of TR90 polyamide which is super light-weight. So when kids wear it when doing their digital work or engaging in gaming time or watching a movie, they will feel like nothing is there. Check out our toucca kids blue light collection here.
And what are the 3 key benefits of our blue light blocking computer/gaming glasses
- Reduce Eye Strain
- Minimize headaches
- Minimize Dry Eyes syndrome
- Prevent blurry vision after long bouts of looking at the screen
- Reduce the potential risk of headache in kids
You can rest assured that their eyes are protected even when they are engaged with their digital time.
Their eyes will thank you later.