The health hazards of being a Web Developer


When you enter an industrial area, you are required to put on PPE (personal protection equipment), a hard hat, safety shoes and a pair of safety glasses for your protection.

While Road Workers who are exposed to the risks of moving traffic or construction equipment must wear high-visibility safety apparel.

How about those who sit in front of computer monitors all day or night long?
Are there PPE requirements for Web Designers, Developers, Programmers, Video Editors, Data Information Entry Workers?

So What Is Hazardous?

Most notably, the display screens of computers, electronic notebooks, smartphones and other digital devices emit significant amounts of blue light. The amount of HEV light these devices emit is only a fraction of that emitted by the sun. But the amount of time people spend using these devices and the proximity of these screens to the user’s face have many eye doctors and other health care professionals concerned about possible long-term effects of blue light on eye health. [All About Vision]

Fact or Fiction?

In comparison to the sun, the blue light output from a computer screen is small. So what is the big deal?

The concern is about these 3 factors:

  1. Long term screen exposure
  2. Screen closeness
  3. Length of time spent looking at the screen

Most Designers and Developers have been using computers at an early age
1 In this current generation, you most likely began playing with computers when you were still in grade school. Think about all the years you have been using a computer, through high school, college, and now as part of your job. This is long-term exposure.

2 We all have bugs in our code, there will be times when you will move closer to your screen to study your code, which can be often.
Closer to the screen = more intense exposure.

3 Aren’t you looking at your screen for hours each day?
Our computers are not only our work tool but also our recreation and daily activity device.
How about playing games, watching youtube tutorials, reading the news, etc..

A new Nielsen Company audience report reveals that adults in the United States devoted about 10 hours and 39 minutes each day to consuming media during the first quarter of this year. [CNN]

Bottom Line
Will there be any long term affects?
Only time will tell.

So What How Does It Affect Your Eyes?

Long term exposure to blue light can lead to the following conditions:

Age-related macular degeneration – retina damage.

  • Blurred central vision (noticed when trying to view details)
  • Straights lines look wavey or distorted
  • Portions of your central vision may be blank out with dark spots
    dark spots may blank out portions of the central vision

Cataracts – cloudiness

  • Blurry vision
  • Decreased night vision (with halos around lights)
  • Appears to be a film covering your eyes, blinking does not clear it

Digital Eye Strain – after extended periods of viewing a digital screen, individuals can experience eye discomfort and vision problems.
This is caused by the blue light waves scattering more in the eye creating “visual noise” that reduces contrast = eye strain.

Eye Protection



Classic Computer Gaming Reading Amber Tinted Glasses and
Anti Blue Light Anti Glare for All Digital Screens

$10 with 0.00 Magnification, this is the one I ordered and use.
[This is not an affiliate link]

This is the lowest cost protection option, glasses useable on all devices, and is portable.

Perscription Glasses: you can request to have a Blue Light Blocker coating applied to your lens (you need to check with your source for new glasses).

Privacy Screen Filter for Monitor or Laptop
Relieves Eye Strain, Blocks Blue Light.
[This is not an affiliate link]

MacBook Pro 15 Screen Protector
Touch Bar + Keyboard Cover Ultra-Thin TPU.
Reduce negative blue Light.
[This is not an affiliate link]



Diet Supplements:

Lutein & Zeaxanthin- helps to prevent eye diseases including age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.It is believed that these supplements block blue light from reaching the underlying structures in the retina

Zinc – a powerful antioxidant that protects against cell damage.

Vitamin B1 (thiamine) – a powerful antioxidant that protects against cell damage. There is initial evidence that vitamin B1, taken with other vitamins, may reduce your risk of getting cataracts.

Omega-3 fatty acids – it is believed that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid, may help reduce inflammation and assist cells of the retina and the cornea heal and regenerate after damage due to light exposure and aging.

Vitamins C & E – a combination of these two vitamins may reduce risk for cataracts and slowed the progression of cataracts.



IPhone – activate “night shift” setting on your Iphone.
Android – presently “night shift mode” is available on Android Nougat and later. If you are running an earlier version, you need to install apps such as Twilight or CF.lumen.



The long-term effects of looking at our devices continually day and night are something that is yet to be determined. Since this is a trend that only began about ten or maybe 15 years ago, current studies are yet to be conclusive.

We do know that the blue light emitted from device screens can be harmful to your eyes.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that it is harmful to your health.
Bottom Line: Better to be safe then sorry later.


Blue Light Exposed
Blue Light and Your Eyes
Blue Light Exposed
Screens Are Killing Your Eyes
Blue Light – Is there risk of harm?

Gerald Watanabe

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