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Missouri eye doctors explain how to protect your vision from harmful blue light rays

Published: Aug. 27, 2021 at 6:49 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - We all probably spend a little too much time looking at our phones, which experts say can negatively affect our eye health.

Since the start of COVID-19 pandemic, some people have spent more time in front of screens. All that screen time can have a negative impact on our eye health.

“What’s interesting is that it can cause eye strain, it can cause some headaches, but long-term we really don’t know,” said CEO of the Vision Clinic, Dr. Steve Rice. “We know blue light can be harmful to the macula, which is our central vision. And because we’re exposed to so much of it, we honestly don’t know what it’s going to look like 25 years from now.”

Blue light glasses are becoming more popular to help filter out harmful blue rays. If you’re shopping for blue light glasses, eye doctors say you need to be sure you are getting optical quality lenses or they may not be helping at all.

“For the most part, you get what you pay for,” said Dr. Rice. “So something super inexpensive, it’s probably been made inexpensively. If it’s just what we call stamped plastic, and there’s no optical quality to it, then that’s something to watch out for. If you take the lens and look at a light and move it back and forth... if you’re looking for like waves or blurry spots or distortions, then it’s not optical quality.

Focusing on a screen that is close to your face can also lead to nearsightedness. To help prevent muscle damage, eye doctors recommend using the 20-20-20 rule. After looking at a screen for 20 minutes, look at something that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds to help your eyes refocus.

Eye doctors also recommend getting an annual eye exam and wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV rays. If you already wear glasses, you can talk to your optometrist about getting blue light lenses with your regular prescription.

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