Blue lights’ effect on quarantined teens

As a result of the recent COVID-19 outbreak, Montgomery county undergoes a Quarantine causing all schools in the area to implement online learning.

As Souderton Area High School students participate in online schooling as of March 29, teens are being exposed to blue light from their phones, computers and other devices.
According to demystifying medicine, some symptoms of digital eye strain resulting from blue light include dry eyes, redness of eyes, headaches, light sensitivity and blurred vision. According to sophomore Aliyah James, she has experienced some of these symptoms throughout the course of the quarantine.
“My eyes do feel dry sometimes.” James said. “They hurt when I take my eyes off the screen.”
Other students have also reported experiencing such symptoms.
“I have gotten headaches more frequently during the quarantine,” sophomore Emma Becker said.
Teens are spending hours looking at screens everyday, now more than ever given school work is being assigned online.
“I spend about 8 hours a day on my phone,” sophomore Francesca Plinchta said .
Phones are not the only devices that radiate blue light. Computers produce blue light as well.
According to sophomore Anna Roman, she spends 6-7 hours a day on her phone and about 4- 5 on her computer. That is up to 12 hours of screen time a day on blue light devices.
According to Roman, throughout the quarantine she has noticed she felt more light headed and “foggy” at times.
Being exposed to blue light can also affect sleep patterns, causing a decrease in sleep quality and quantity.
“I wake up all the time, I’m always turning around, I can’t find a good position” Plinchta said, “The way I sleep now is really bad.”
Students exposed to blue light may also find it harder to fall asleep at night. “I have been feeling very tired and have had a hard time falling asleep lately,” Becker said.
Becker is not the only student reporting feeling tired despite the quarantine. “I’m still tired after I wake up,” James said. “When I woke up for school, even though it was still really early, I still felt well rested in some kind of way.”
According to Plinchta, a solution to teens being exposed to blue light from online schooling would be for teachers to assign more physical work, such as textbook work.
“It’s kinda up to the teachers at this point.” Plinchta said.
For Roman, preventing digital eye strain is more about self control. “You don’t always need to be on your phone,” Roman said.
According to James, more students may begin to need glasses as a result of constant/long term blue light exposure.
“What I hear from my optometrist on the daily is, being exposed to TV’s, phones and screens in general, your eyesight is going to worsen the more you’re around them,” James said. “Most kids might end up needing glasses if they keep looking at screens all day everyday.”