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The Science Behind Computer Vision Syndrome

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Not long ago, we shared some pretty interesting statistics and information about Computer Vision Syndrome (digital eye strain). Today, we want to dive in deeper to the cause of this universally growing problem. First, let’s make sure you fully understand Computer Vision Syndrome. Below you’ll find an infographic from WhatisDryEye.com which breaks down the issue perfectly.

All of that information supports the conclusion that CVS is a growing problem that effects more people than even realize it. Their helpful tips should be employed by anyone suffering the symptoms listed.

The Science

Next, we want to dive a little deeper into the science behind the problem.

  • Natural Light: Below, on the left, you’ll find a break down of the solar light spectrum. The shape and emphasis of the light clearly shows that some of each type of light is emitted, but a balance exists between the extremes. Blue light and red light never overpower one another, instead some of each comes through, making the nice bell shape you see below.
  • Artificial Light: Now, compare the above chart on the left to the one on the right. The one on the right shows light emitted by digital device screens. Notice the sporadic pattern, and the strong spike on blue light. The sun puts out a balanced array of light, screens put out an awkward mishmash of light with a strong emphasis on blue light.

Our bodies, over time, have learned to operate based on the light produced by the sun. When they’re exposed to other light, especially light with a different spectrum of color, they don’t react well. As the infographic above explained, the exposure to blue light in digital devices causes many of the problems associated with CVS.

Blue Light and Sleep

Sleep, although not treated extensively in the infographic above, takes the brunt of blue light exposure at night. Blue light controls our sleep and wake cycle, called circadian rhythm. The sun’s blue light, as shown above, never comes to us as purely as does that from digital devices. Introduce those devices into a bedtime routine, and you get a confused circadian rhythm that leads to sleepless nights.

woman with tablet pc sleeping in bed at night PNGBJ9L - The Science Behind Computer Vision Syndrome

How to Deal

These sleep problems won’t go away on their own. Furthermore, CVS waits in the wings, causing you grief even if you sleep like a baby at night. Restoring your body to the natural cycle set by the sun seems less than ideal. That would require putting away digital devices, and artificial light, and letting the sun dictate your schedule and provide your light. Most won’t take this path; few even could. So what can we do?

The answer lies above. Not just with the sun, but in the infographic from earlier in this post. They offer a number of helpful solutions to the problem of CVS. As for the sleep issues, that requires commitment and change. Leaving out the use of screens at least 2 hours before bed can fix the issue. Breaking habits can be hard, but in this case, it’s definitely worth it.

If neither of these solutions feels like the right solution for you, consider learning more about the benefits of blue light blocking glasses today. 

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