What is blue light?
Blue light is a type of high-energy visible (HEV) light that is emitted from many electronic devices, such as phones, computers, and TVs. It is also present in natural sunlight and is responsible for the blue sky. While blue light has several benefits, including boosting alertness and regulating the sleep-wake cycle, excessive exposure to blue light without the use of blue light glasses can have harmful effects on our health, and the worst part about it is that most of us don’t notice it until the harm has already started.
One of the most significant risks associated with blue light exposure is disrupted sleep patterns. Blue light exposure can suppress the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep, and disrupt our body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. This is known to cause insomnia, tiredness, and other sleep disorders.
Blue light exposure has also been linked to eye strain and discomfort, especially when using electronic devices, which can cause computer vision syndrome. This is because blue light spreads more easily than other types of light, making it harder for the eyes to focus, leading to eye strain, headaches, and blurred vision. Without the use of blue light glasses, this impairment could go on until the exposure levels lessen.
Research has shown that prolonged exposure to blue light can even lead to retinal damage. Blue light penetrates more deeply into the eye than other types of light, and over time, this exposure can cause damage to the retina, potentially leading to vision loss and other eye problems.
Another concern related to blue light exposure is the impact on mood and cognitive function. Studies suggest that overexposure to blue light can cause a range of negative effects, including increased anxiety, irritability, and depression, as well as decreased cognitive performance, such as impaired memory and attention span. All of this exposure leads to stress, both on vision and on the nervous system which can lead to a bevy of health issues.
How to avoid it?
To mitigate the harmful effects of blue light exposure, several strategies can be employed. One simple way is to reduce exposure to blue light by limiting the use of electronic devices before bedtime and using blue-light-blocking filters or glasses. Other options include adjusting the brightness and color temperature of electronic devices, incorporating regular breaks, and using task lighting instead of overhead lighting.
While the minimization of exposure to blue light is the optimal solution, for those of us that work office jobs or spend a significant amount of time studying or doing other tasks on digital devices, a good pair of blue light glasses make all the difference.
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