The introduction of advanced consoles and more complex game storylines has led to a trend of longer playing times and extended gaming hours. As highlighted in our previous article, gaming consoles are now designed to withstand continuous operation, with the PS5 being able to stay on for days given proper ventilation.
While this may bring joy to avid gamers, it also raises concerns about prolonged exposure to our devices and the accompanying downsides — particularly blue light exposure. Below, we take a closer look at what blue light is and whether it is time for gamers to start paying attention.
What is blue light?
Blue light is a high-energy, short-wavelength light on the visible spectrum. It is emitted by various sources, including the sun and energy-efficient light bulbs. However, the prevalence of blue light in our daily lives has significantly increased thanks to the widespread use of electronic devices for hours at a time.
Oftentimes, gadget use is done from mere inches away, even long after the sun has gone down. This has given way to a new subcategory of vision issues called “computer vision syndrome” or “video game vision.” Self-reported symptoms range from blurred vision at close range and difficulty focusing to sleep deprivation and poor sleep hygiene. The latter symptoms, in particular, are commonly attributed to excessive blue light exposure.
The impact of blue light on eyes
Medical experts highlight that the potential repercussions of blue light exposure unfold across three critical domains: vision, sleep, and broader health issues. Concerns surrounding vision focus on the extended use of digital screens and its potential long-term effects, with current studies offering evidence for temporary eye discomfort and minimal cases of severe eye damage. Sleep disruptions, influenced by blue light’s impact on the circadian rhythm, may lead to delayed sleep onset, but the biological significance remains minimal. Broader health issues, including moodiness and metabolic disruptions, are suggested, but the role of light exposure, not solely blue light, in these concerns is underscored.
These show that despite ongoing studies, there is no conclusive evidence that blue light poses a life-threatening risk. However, the consistent occurrence of eye strain with prolonged device use still requires caution. While the full scope of blue light’s impact is still being studied, maintaining informed and mindful screen habits emerges as a key component in preserving both visual health and overall well-being, especially as digital device use keeps rising.
Proactive steps for gamers
Particular concern arises for gamers, especially those who engage in marathon gaming sessions and continuously expose their eyes to the blue light. While the evidence is not yet alarming, the cumulative effects of prolonged exposure could lead to discomfort and potential eye-related issues.
Fortunately, proactive measures can be taken to mitigate the potential risks associated with blue light exposure. One accessible option is the use of blue light glasses, which have emerged as a convenient solution to reflect HEV blue light and protect against eye strain. Many models come with strong anti-reflection properties, reducing additional glare from the screen. The KODAK UVBlue Lens, in particular, is designed to provide greater contrast for improved colour recognition and depth perception, enhancing the overall gaming experience. It is an excellent choice for gamers who seek advanced eye protection without compromising on visual clarity.
More dedicated gamers can opt to invest in eye-sensitive equipment as well. The gaming industry is making strides towards prioritising eye health, with the Eyesafe Display Requirements 2.0 developed by TÜV Rheinland Group and Eyesafe. Lenovo has already introduced three gaming monitors that meet these stringent criteria for blue light emissions and colour accuracy, emphasising a commitment to gamer well-being.
Of course, while these innovations contribute significantly to eye health, they should complement rather than substitute healthy screen habits. The 20-20-20 rule and outdoor breaks remain crucial for long-term eye health. This ensures that gamers can enjoy their passion as studies on blue light are underway, all without compromising their most valuable sensory organ – their eyes.