Dr. Chu Jeong. O.D., Hidden risks of LED Light to your Eye Health

You know that LED light saves you money and is friendly to the environment.  However, do you know that this bluish light – now so commonly emitted by smart phones, TVs and computers – can cause significant harm to your eye health?

Light consists of a range of wavelengths.  “Electromagnetic spectrum” is the term describing the entire range of light’s wavelength.  Our eyes detect wavelength between 380 and 780 nm.

Our brain in turn interprets various wavelength of light as different colors.  Red, for example, has the longest wave-length.  Violet has the shortest.  Wavelength shorter than violet light, between 100 and 380 nm, is called ultraviolet (UV) light.  It is well-known that the UV light causes damage to your eyes.  What is not commonly known is that blue-violet (BV) light, which is directly adjacent to UV on the spectrum and found in LED light, can considerably damage your eyes as well.

To be sure, sunlight contains both UV and BV light.  What’s different between these two is the fact that the UV light causes damage to the front part of the eye, leading to cataracts.  The BV light, on the other hand, reaches deeper into the eye, resulting in potential retina damage.

You may wonder how much of the BV you can find in various lights.  Sunlight contains 25 to 30% of the BV light.  In popular Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL), this percentage increases to about 25%.   Worse, in LED light, the percentage jumps by 10% to 35%.

Recent studies have shown that BV light is 50 to 80 times more efficient in damaging retinal photoreceptor cell than, say, green lights, which has a wavelength of 510 nm.  In another study, when the amount of BV light was decreased by 20%, the death rate of photoreceptor cell decreased by 25%.

With the increasing use of CFL and LED in computers, tablets, and smart phones, we are in fact facing a considerably higher risk of damaging our eyes, especially the retina.  That is, Apple’s “retina display” of your beloved IPhone is gradually impairing your retina.

How to Use this Information

What can you do to protect your eyes from excessive BV light impacts?  We recommend all patients who spend significant time using electronic devices to get BV/UV protective coating in all your glasses.  The Crizal Prevencia Anti-reflective coating is proven effective in filtering out harmful BV light.  This coating also possesses an Eye-Sun Protective Factor (E-SPF) of 25, which means it provides 25 times more UV protection for your eyes than no protection at all.   If you’re feeling the strain of blue light on your eyes, Vision Care Specialists can help with computer glasses and specialized lenses.  Call us today at 303-991-9600 or schedule an appointment online.