What is blue light and why you should start worrying about it.
It’s safe to say that most of us enjoy swiping and scrolling through social media constantly, reading and researching work-related reports on the laptop, and watching television. A lot of time and energy goes into staring at our screens, and this can be very dangerous for the eyes. Blue light through electronics is connected to several eye issues such as cataracts, macular degeneration, eye strain, and blurry vision. Some people also occasionally deal with sleep problems.
What Is Blue Light?
It is one of seven colors to the visible light spectrum. The other colors are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.
There is a famous acronym used for this, known as ROY G BIV. Combined, they form the shite light you can see when the sun which is the main source of blue light is shining. LED (light-emitting diode) and fluorescent light bulbs and lamps also emit off blue light.
Every color in the visible light spectrum has a varied energy level and wavelength. Blue light has higher energy and short wavelength as compared to other colors. Some studies show a connection between eye damage and short-wave blue light with wavelengths ranging between 415 and 455 nanometers. Most of the light from LED-used tablets, television sets, and smartphones has wavelengths between 400 and 490 nanometers.
YOUR EYES AND BLUE LIGHT
In bigger quantities, high-energy light from the sun such as blue light and ultraviolet rays can increase the risk of eye diseases and problems. This has raised a lot of concerns if blue light from digital screens and tabloids is injurious. Much more research and studies are required to be sure.
Specialists are of the opinion that digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome affects touches about 50% of computer users. Symptoms usually include blurred vision, irritated and dry eyes.
It is also quite a possibility that blue light damages and risks your retinas, this is called phototoxicity. The volume of damage and injury depends on exposure time and wavelength.
Animal studies exhibit that even little exposure (a couple of minutes to many hours) can be harmful. A filter that cuts 94% of blue light has been exhibited to be less dangerous.
There is evidence that blue light can lead to permanent vision damages and changes. Almost, most blue light passes directly through the back of your retina. Some studies have shown that blue light might expand and grow the risk of macular degeneration which is a disease of the retina.
Research also shows that exposure to blue light can lead to AMD (age-related macular degeneration). One research finds that blue light triggers the toxic molecules present in photoreceptor cells, which causes damage that leads to AMD.
SLEEP AND BLUE LIGHT
Screen time, particularly at night time, is connected with poor sleeping patterns. The blue light from electronic devices is problematic and messes with your sleep cycle or circadian rhythm. It basically sends a sign to your brain to wake up and function when you should be winding and lying down.
One particular research shows that even if your eyes are exposed to blue light for as little as two hours at night, it can stop or slow the release of the sleep hormone melatonin. It is important and healthy to power down your digital devices at least three hours before going to bed.
CANCER AND BLUE LIGHT
Exposure to blue light can very easily raise your risk for specific cancers. One research shows that people who work the night shift are at greater risk for colorectal, prostate, and breast cancers. However, it’s vital to stress that this has not been conclusively proven and various other significant factors should also be taken into consideration such as smoking diet, alcohol intake, exercise, diet, and family history.
KIDS AND BLUE LIGHT
The amount of blue light your eyes filter is not the same for children. Too much exposure to blue light through digital devices and screens might raise chances of developing nearsightedness, obesity, and attention focusing problems.
At night, blue light can cause their body to release melatonin at a slower pace than the usual time. It is paramount to limit the screen time of your children to protect their delicate eyes. It is also extremely vital to put them away from all devices including game devices at least one hour before going to sleep.
DIGITAL EYESTRAIN AND BLUE LIGHT
Using digital devices for long periods and up close can lead to digital eyestrain. When people use laptops, computers, phones, and other digital devices, they have the tendency to blink even more than normal. Little blinking can create less moisture in the eyes.
Digital eyestrain is different for everybody, but it is usually related to the focusing structure of the eyes. When your eyes are strained from using too much or staring too much at a blue-light emitting device, you may notice symptoms of irritated or sore eyes, dry eyes, headaches, facial muscles fatigued by squinting, and tired eyes.
MENTAL HEALTH AND BLUE LIGHT
In animal studies, nighttime exposure to blue light has been connected to depressive symptoms. But in the daytime, exposure to blue light has absolute opposite effects. It has been used to cure and treat SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). This is the kind of depression that is linked to the changing of the seasons and behaviors. Studies exhibit that at least 20 minutes of exposure to blue light in the morning helps with easing out SAD symptoms.
PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM BLUE LIGHT AT NIGHT
- For night lights, try using dim red lights. Red light less likely suppresses melatonin and shift circadian rhythm.
- Try to avoid looking at bright lights and screens two to three hours before going to bed.
- If you use a lot of electronic devices at night or work a night shift at the office, try installing an application that filters the blue/green wavelength or wearing blue-light-blocking glasses at night.