SAINT LOUIS PARK, Minn. - Computers, iPads, smartphones. It's a digital deluge that some contend can hurt your eyes.
Now a Minnesota company has come up with a way to keep them safe and it actually rates eye protection almost like the sunscreen industry.
Ask them for the facts on how much they use technology and they'll be honest. Senior Jimmy Youngblut confessed, "I'm on a screen from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to sleep."
Aren't we all?
But multiple studies show that the blue light that laptops and smartphones emit can be harmful to our health.
Optometrist Gina Wesley of Complete Eye Care of Medina says it disrupts sleep and can damage the retina.
"We have extreme fatigue of our eyes and visual system as well as possible exposure to the retina which for me is most concerning thing," she explained.
That's why Benilde-St. Margaret's has partnered with local company Healthe to cover the laptop screens of their journalism students with a film that blocks blue light. It's called Eyesafe.
"In terms of just how much time they use the devices, I think it's enough to cause us to take a look and say, 'What do I need to do to improve that experience,'" said Principal Susan Skinner.
Healthe sells its Eyesafe screen covers with something it created, retina protection factors (RPF). An RPF of 15 blocks 15 percent of blue light. An RPF of 60 blocks 60 percent.
"Eyesafe technology works like a net. It's selectively reducing the harmful light - which is the high energy visible blue light spectrum," Healthe CEO Justin Barrett explained. "So as you can see from the film itself, it's actually absorbing that blue light and maintaining a bright color quality from the screen itself."
These journalism students have been using Eyesafe screen covers on their laptops and smartphones for two weeks.
"Personally I've been sleeping better. I'm not sure if it's from the screens or a placebo," Youngblut said. "But it's less strain from the screens and I got the 30 percent which has a slight blue tint to it and I haven't noticed any changes so it's pretty great."
If there's a good final report from these journalism students, the whole school could be outfitted by next fall.