Screen time has increased dramatically for millions of Americans in recent years. Based on a recent analysis, the average person spends up to 13 hours per day in front of digital devices, up from between 7 to 10 hours a day in 2019.1 Some people, including children, are spending more time in front of digital devices than sleeping. Why is this development concerning? Excessive use of digital devices may contribute to discomfort and there are concerns regarding short-term and long-term risks.2
According to the Vision Council, many people experience eye discomfort and vision problems when using digital devices for extended periods. As many as 60% of Americans report experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain3 which may include eye strain, headaches, blurred vision, and dry eyes.
About Blue Light Awareness Day
In 2019, California and Senator Pan unanimously passed Blue Light Awareness Day Resolution SCR-73. Resolution Full Text
“WHEREAS, Given the growing body of research around the breadth and scope of potential eye and systemic health impacts related to blue light exposure, the State of California encourages citizens, particularly children, to consider taking protective safety measures in reducing eye exposure to high-energy visible blue light; now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, thereof concurring, That the Legislature hereby designates October 10 of each year as Blue Light Awareness Day” – State Blue Light Resolution SCR-73
WHAT IS HIGH-ENERGY BLUE LIGHT?
Smartphones, tablets and computers, emit blue light, which is a low wavelength, high-energy light. There is concern that blue light has the potential to damage the eyes over the long term.
CHILDREN MAY BE AT HIGHER RISK
Children tend to hold devices closer to their faces, and their eyes are still developing.
“The natural lens of a child’s eye is very clear, especially until the age of 12. Over time, as the lens matures, it builds up a natural yellowing, providing some protection from blue light entering into the eye. Because a child’s lenses are so clear when they are young, they are more vulnerable to blue light emissions and associated risks.” – Molly McDonald, OD
TAKE STEPS TO FIGHT BLUE LIGHT
Voices of Support
“The impact of high energy blue light emissions on children is a significant health concern. The resolution, passed by unanimous and bi-partisan support in both the Senate and Assembly, demonstrates that when it comes to protecting public health and educating around emerging health concerns, California will take the lead.”
Dr. Richard Pan, Pediatrician and State Senator
“World Sight Day, The Vision Council applauds the California State Legislature for recognizing the importance of the vision health of its citizens. In order to help ensure healthy eyesight, we recommend people of all ages have an annual eye exam to diagnose possible eye disease, identify changes in vision, update prescriptions, and find the appropriate vision correction solution.”
Ashley Mills, Vision Council
“For over 100 years, Prevent Blindness has been dedicated to protecting and preserving eyesight; what protection means in the digital age, however, is ensuring that, with all the advances in technology and the increased amount of time we spend on devices, we continue to research and educate about how such advances may impact the human eye. Resolution SCR-73 passed by the California State Legislature sends a message to the eye care sector, electronics manufacturers, parents and educators that we need to be taking the issue of blue light emissions and extended exposure to digital screens seriously, and undertake the necessary research to fully understand its impact.”
Jeff Todd, Prevent Blindness
Members of the CEDARS/ASPENS including Dr. Sheri Rowen, Dr. Robert Weinstock, Dr. Mitch Jackson and Dr. William Trattler are pleased to support the recent passage by the State of California, announcing their Blue Light Resolution, CA SCR-73, which passed unanimously by both the California state Senate and Assembly: “This is a key moment for electronics manufacturers and eye health practitioners to help address the issues involving blue light device health and safety supporting millions of consumers and patients. With more than 80 million electronic devices with digital screens in the state of California, and average screen time exceeding 9 hours per day, exposure to blue light from devices has become a serious health topic. With growing concern around the health impacts of extended exposure to blue light from devices, Senator Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), Chair of the Senate Health Committee, sponsored the unanimous passing by the Senate and Assembly of the California Blue Light Resolution for announcement on October 10th as Blue Light Awareness Day.”
Select members of the CEDARS/ASPENS
“Given children and workers are now required to spend even greater amounts of time in front of their electronic devices, it is more important than ever to take proactive safety measures in reducing exposure to high-energy visible blue light,”
Justin Barrett, CEO Eyesafe
Join the Blue Light Awareness Day Campaign
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