You’re probably familiar with the term Blue Light, but do you actually know what it is? In this blog post, I will explain what is blue light and how it affects you.
What Is Blue Light?
Blue light is a color in the visible light spectrum that can be seen by the human eyes. Blue light is a short wavelength, as a result of this, it produces higher amounts of energy.
Where Does Blue Light Come From?
Blue light can be found everywhere. Many years ago before the world was so technologically advanced, the only source of blue light came from the sun.
However, this has changed because blue light is found on Smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers, TVs, gaming systems, fluorescent lights, LED lights, and in some additional electronic devices.
How Does Blue Light Affect You?
The effects of blue light on the human body are a double-edged sword because there are pros and cons.
Here Are The Pros Of Blue Light:
- Boosts alertness
- Elevates moods
- Helps memory and cognitive function
- Helps regulate the circadian rhythm
Here Are The Cons Of Blue Light:
- Increased risk of depression
- May cause permanent damage to the eyes, may contribute to age-related macular degeneration which may cause vision loss
- Increased risk of certain types of cancers
- Increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity
- Digital Eyestrain Syndrome: difficulty focusing, blurry vision, dry and irritated eyes, headaches, neck and back pain
- Disrupts the circadian rhythm
When it comes to exposure to blue light, the cons significantly outweigh the pros. However, there are two different types of blue lights, there’s artificial and natural.
Natural Blue Light And Artificial Blue Light:
Natural blue light wavelengths are everywhere in our atmosphere. Blue light wavelengths are the main reason why the sky appears blue.
This occurs when the short blue wavelengths clash with air molecules this causes the blue light to spread which makes the sky appear blue to us.
Natural blue light helps to regulate the body’s sleep and wake cycles, this is also known as the circadian rhythm.
Natural blue light also helps to elevate your moods, boost your alertness, increase your overall feeling of wellbeing and heighten your reaction times.
Artificial blue light comes from various types of lights such as fluorescent lights, LED lights, etc. and electronic devices.
Should You Be Concerned About Blue Light Exposure?
Absolutely, blue light is one of the shortest, and highest energy wavelengths in the light spectrum.
Blue light flickers longer and easier than other types of weaker wavelengths. The flickering causes a glare that reduces your visual contrast, which affects your clarity and sharpness.
This may cause physical and mental fatigue, eye strain, and headaches if you spend many hours sitting in front of a computer or using your electronic devices.
Our eyes do not have the ability to provide filters to protect us from this type of artificial light.
Prolonged exposure to blue light may cause macular degeneration, which can lead to loss of vision.
Here are some important blue light statistics that you should be aware of:
- 74% of children between the ages of 12 to 17 use electronic devices
- 93% of teens have a computer or have access to it
- 43% of adults have jobs that require prolonged use of a computer or tablet
- 70% of adults who regularly use electronic devices report symptoms of digital eye strain
Blue Light At Night:
Chronic exposure to blue light at night is extremely hazardous as I stated earlier this can disrupt your circadian rhythm.
However, researchers at Harvard University have linked chronic blue light exposure at night to diabetes, breast cancer, prostate cancer, obesity, heart disease, and an increased risk for depression.
Researchers aren’t sure why exposure to blue light is more hazardous at night.
How To Reduce The Hazard Of Blue Light:
Here are some simple things you can do to reduce the negative effects of blue light exposure:
Download a blue light filter app. If you normally use your devices at night you should consider getting a blue light filter app. There are a number of free apps in the App Store that will put a filter on the display screen of your smartphone or tablet to reduce the glare at night, this will reduce eye fatigue.
Limit your screen time when you’re not at work. For many people, it will be almost impossible to avoid using digital devices at work. However, you can reduce the amount of time you spend using your electronic devices when you’re not at work. This will reduce muscle strain and eye fatigue.
Blink more often when looking at a digital screen. One of the main reasons why we are more sensitive to dry eye when using electronic devices is the fact that our blink rate is significantly reduced. When you blink more often it will keep your eyes moist and refreshed.
Try to avoid using your electronic devices before you go to bed. Overexposure to blue light at night may cause insomnia and restlessness. If it’s possible, you should try to turn off your devices at least one hour before you go to bed.
Get regular eye exams. It’s good to have your eyes examined regularly by a licensed specialist. Get regular eye exams to make sure that your vision is healthy. You can also ask your ophthalmologist to prescribe protective lenses with blue light filters which will reduce eye strain.
Take periodic breaks from staring at electronic devices. Taking periodic breaks will reduce eye fatigue and muscle strain when staring at electronic devices over an extended period of time.
Change the background colors on your digital devices. Changing the background colors from bright white to warmer colors will reduce eye strain.
Blue Light Filter Glasses Are Great:
You can invest in a pair of blue light filter glasses. These glasses will protect your eyes and reduce the amount of hazardous blue light rays that reach your retina.
Now you know about blue light and what you can do to protect yourself from the negative effects of it.
If you have any comments or questions about any of this information, please feel free to share them in the comment section below.