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eye damage from light

It turns out that while some people claim CFLs (Compact fluorescent lamps) might be better for the environment, they are very bad for your eyes.

The threat from CFLs, as well as other types of UV light, has long been known by eye care professionals. But it has just recently become a topic for the rest of us.

CFLs produce a specific type of UV light called Blue Light, and it is thought to cause many problems including macular degeneration, cataracts and retinal damage.

What is Blue Light?

Blue light is a part of the visible light spectrum and a type of UV light that has wavelengths in the 500nm to 381nm range.  It is given off by not only CFLs, but also electronic devices like computers and tablets, as well as TVs and iPhones.

Until recently, little research specifically into the effects of Blue Light on the eye existed.  Because UV light is given off by many sources, including the sun, it was thought that indoor light posed little harm.  But with the advent of electronic devices and the adoption of CFL lighting as the primary sources of lighting in most homes and offices, exposure to Blue Light has spiked considerably in the last decade.

Most people heed the recommendation of their eye doctor and wear sun glasses when outdoors to protect from sun-related UV damage.  But how many of us wear protective glasses indoors to protect our eyes from the damaging rays produced by CFLs and electronic devices?

The damage done by indoor Blue Light is just as damaging as outdoor UV from the sun.  Possibly even more so since all damage to the eye from UV light is cumulative.  Cataracts and macular degeneration were once considered diseases of old age, but now are showing up in younger individuals.  Where 20 years ago our exposure to Blue Light was limited, it is now almost constant.  Not only do we live in fluorescent lighting, we are continually interacting with electronic devices like iPads and computers, which emit Blue Light as well.  All this email checking, watching movies on our iPad and compulsively monitoring our Twitter feed adds up to an increased threat to our eye health.

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Sebrina Smith

Sebrina Zerkus Smith is a Southern Gal that has been scratching the writer’s itch for nearly 30 years. Her career began in Washington, D.C., in 1987, fresh out of collage and full of ideals. While plying her trade by day on congressional reps and senators, at night she burned the candle writing features for local newspapers and national magazines. She quickly realized that her southern upbringing gave her a unique and humorous voice that resonated with her readers. Eventually, she moved to Los Angeles where she pursued her dream of becoming a novelist and screenwriter. She paid her bills by working as a freelance writer for major marketing projects from studios such as CBS, NBC and Disney. Realizing that the future of writing lay with the internet, she was bitten by the blogging bug back in the 90’s, back before it was even called “blogging.” Then it was still just writing and trying to make a living. Through those early blogging years, Sebrina found passion and purpose. Over the past 10 years she has written articles for clients such as LightCues.com, MatterMore.com, Greenopolis, MacAddict, Yahoo, CNN and more. Today, Sebrina writes about a variety of topics including the Southern Experience, sustainability, clean water, food, gardening, sleep and her obsession with pugs. She is a regular paid contributor to WildOats.com as well as other entities. She now lives in Houston with her husband Jeff and their pug Newton. She hopes one day to complete her opus, Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed.