Le rôle de la lumière dans la fatigue oculaire

The role of light in eye fatigue

Sep 22, 2023

Eye strain is a common phenomenon that many of us have experienced, especially in our increasingly digitalized world. This disorder can be triggered by a variety of factors, but did you know that light plays a crucial role in eye fatigue?

In this article, we will take an in-depth look at the role of light in eye fatigue . To fully understand this topic, it is essential to consider the underlying scientific concepts as well as the latest research in this area.

Light, whether natural or artificial, has a definite influence on our visual well-being. By knowing its impact, we are better able to make informed choices to protect our visual health .

Screens and eye fatigue

It is crucial to understand the link between exposure to screen light and eye fatigue . The phenomenon of eye fatigue - also called asthenopia - manifests itself by various symptoms: dryness, redness, tingling, compulsive grimacing, eye pain or headaches, or even a reduction in vision.

In our contemporary society, the amount of time spent in front of screens has increased significantly . Whether for work, education, leisure or communication, the use of screens has become omnipresent. This includes computers, tablets, smartphones and even televisions.

So what is the role of light in all this? Screens emit strong blue light - a part of the light spectrum close to ultraviolet rays. If this light is not very present in natural light, it is however very present in the artificial light of screens. Our eyes, not being naturally equipped to effectively filter this blue light , can experience overexposure , causing eye fatigue .

Why is this light problematic? Several studies indicate that prolonged exposure to blue light can cause damage to the retina . It would also affect our body's circadian rhythm , hindering the natural secretion of melatonin and disrupting our sleep cycles .

However, these conclusions must be tempered. Not all blue lights pose the same danger. There is in fact a difference between blue-violet light , which is harmful , and blue-turquoise light , which can have beneficial effects in terms of arousal and cognitive performance . It is therefore imperative to protect our eyes from excessive exposure to harmful blue-violet light.


In short, our eyes are subjected, every day, to light aggression emanating from the screens we use. Screens which, because they emit intense blue light, can accelerate eye fatigue and impact our visual health in the long term. It is therefore essential to be aware of this phenomenon in order to adopt appropriate behaviors and limit undesirable effects.

Natural light and its benefits

In an effort to understand the role of light in eye fatigue, it is essential to discuss the properties and benefits of natural light . Unlike screen light, natural light has a multitude of beneficial properties that can help reduce or even prevent eye fatigue .

First, natural sunlight contains a full range of light waves, including short, medium, and long wavelengths. Sunlight in broad daylight is therefore considered a source of white light, including all colors of the visible spectrum. Therefore, it provides uniform and well-distributed lighting, which can reduce the effort the eyes have to make when looking, reading or working, thereby reducing the risk of eye fatigue .

The benefits of natural light on the eyes

It is undeniable that natural light has positive effects on our eyes. The beneficial properties can be articulated as follows:

  1. It contributes to better visual definition: natural light helps to distinguish details and improves color perception.
  2. It can help regulate our internal clock: exposure to daylight can help synchronize our body clock and contribute to healthy sleep, which can indirectly reduce the risk of eye strain.
  3. It reduces visual effort: sufficient and well-distributed natural light can help reduce the effort the eyes have to make, which can lead to a reduction in symptoms of eye fatigue.

From this perspective, natural light , when used appropriately and well managed, can therefore play a key role in preventing and alleviating eye fatigue . It is therefore crucial to maximize our exposure to natural light while minimizing our excessive use of screens emitting intense blue light , particularly in the hours before bed. This could certainly help provide a beneficial respite for our eyes, while improving our overall visual health.

Preventing eye fatigue: practical advice

Preventing eye strain in varying lighting conditions is no easy feat. However, science has provided validated methods to achieve this. Applying these tactics can improve the quality of life for individuals who spend long hours under artificial lighting or in front of screens.

Light environment control

It is recommended to ensure adequate lighting when carrying out any work requiring visual concentration , particularly when using screens. This not only involves having sufficient lighting, but also controlling the intensity and quality of light.

Too much brightness can cause visual discomfort , while too little light can force the eyes to work harder to distinguish details, causing fatigue . Eye-friendly lighting should be bright enough to enable visual performance without causing glare.

The importance of visual breaks

Applying the 20-20-20 rule is an effective way to minimize eye strain. This rule recommends taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes and looking at something about 20 feet (or about 6 meters) away. This simple practice helps to rest the eyes and reduce the symptoms of eye fatigue linked to prolonged use of screens.

Use of specific glasses

Even less use of glasses specifically designed to filter blue light from screens can help prevent eye strain . These glasses block some of the high-energy blue light emitted by screens , reducing strain on the eyes.

Workstation ergonomics

Finally, workplace and screen ergonomics play a crucial role in preventing eye strain . Screens should be placed at a comfortable eye distance – about an arm's length – and slightly below eye level . Additionally, using an adjustable support for equipment can help maintain a comfortable position for the eyes and the rest of the body.

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