The joys of this era! Hours and hours glued to a screen – for entertainment or for work. Either way, our eyes are getting unprecedented exposure to the blue light that these screens emit.
To use a blue light filter or not – that is my new question!
It may not be the question on your lips (yet) but it certainly has become the one I’m interested in. And the answer is not as simple as it may appear. At the moment I’m trialling the glasses above (a lovely red shade with brown edges), using them as I write this to keep the headaches away. Perhaps you have your own experiences you would care to share?
There seems to be a lot of media ‘noise’ about what our new technologies are doing to us. From warnings that our children are becoming addicted, to horror stories of lower attention spans, sleeplessness and headaches. Is it the small snapshots of instant information that’s to blame, or the dazzling amounts of blue light exposure from so many screens in our lives? (Personally, I blame a combination!)
Since developing an autonomic nervous system disorder, I have discovered the more screen time I am exposed to, the worse all my symptoms become. The light sensitivity of my system allows maximum flooding of my tender little eyes, and their insides, to all lights (fluros too) and blue lit screens. Destruction of valuable sleep, increasing headaches and other gory issues driven into over active states by simply living in this technological age. Being a writer, what is a girl to do? I can’t publish hand written sagas (no one could read them!)
One test bunny to the rescue!
This is not science. Allow me to reassure you that I am not pretending it is; but sadly, no one else would let me play with their nervous system and vision. Thus, I had to experiment on myself, joyfully watching my favourite TV Shows in boxsets (hello Stargate Atlantis, Game of Thrones and Once Upon a Time!) and trying to research books and writing online, to see what happened.
After a week of this, I was hardly sleeping at all, aching all over, always nauseous, with headaches that could stun an elephant at ten paces. Hello technology and blue light sensitivity! My nerves were so strung out, I felt jangled all the time.
So – I denied myself any screen time at all, to detox the system completely. After just one day, I managed to sleep five hours without waking (was this just sheer exhaustion, you ask?)!
Not scientific? Simply not important to me – it worked!
So back to my question – what to do in this technologically driven society when a blog is online, research is online, writing more on the Known Worlds including Novarmere – online! Twitter is online, Facebook, Google+… you get the picture. Even TV, the main source of my entertainment so I don’t, you know, implode waiting for my body to heal, is, you guessed it, one large screen of blue lit doom! (I love the dramatic)
Blue light filters.
One eye Dr said he wasn’t prepared to recommend tinting one’s glasses the required shade as he wasn’t too sure if we lack all blue light, what that might do long term. I understand that. I’m sure no blue light spectrum isn’t natural. Do we know how much blue light our eyes and brans need? That said, I need to be able to at least look at a screen for half an hour without jangling myself into a nervous nightmare!
But we have choices. You can go the whole hog and get your day to day glasses tinted professionally, so every screen you interact with is muted; you can download filters like f.lux for all your devices; or you can buy yourself a reasonably cheap pair of red lens glasses and only wear them for screen time, allowing your system full spectrum light the rest of the day.
I’m sure there are more options out there. It’s becoming more of an issue, the more devices we are connected to. I’d love to hear what you do, or think, about blue light. I’m still muddling along with my red glasses. Does it mean I can watch a whole boxset in one go, or write another 200,000 word epic? No. Sense dictates that even with my lenses, I monitor the amount of time I stare at a screen, for the sake of my sanity and my nervous system.