Ever since we discovered what blue light is, there are tons of people who question how this tiny little ray of light can cause any damage. Well, although blue light is not visible to the naked eye it is present almost everywhere. FYI sunlight is one of the main sources of blue light, therefore, being outdoors while the sun is shining loud and bright is when we experience maximum exposure to blue light. But did you know that there are other man-made or indoor sources of blue light that can cause the same amount of damage as looking directly at the sun? These sources include fluorescent and LED lighting and flat-screen televisions.
Apart from that the display screens of computers, electronic notebooks, smartphones, and other digital devices too emit a significant amount of blue light. However, the amount of HEV (High Energy Visible) light emitted by these devices is only a fraction of what is emitted by the sun. But the amount of time that we spend using these devices and the proximity between the screen and our eyes is a cause for concern.
Here Are Three Facts To Prove Blue Light Is Harmful:
Blue light can disturb your body’s natural rhythms. When blue light comes from sunlight during the day, it gives us energy but exposure to blue light at night makes it hard to sleep especially if you’re glued to your phone, tablet, or computer. The blue light from your device can trick your brain into believing that it’s still daytime, which in turn suppresses melatonin production, a natural sleep regulator that tells your body when it needs some shut-eye.
Causes Eye Strain
Blue light from your computer screens and other digital devices can reduce contrast. The result? Digital eyestrain. Fatigue, dry eyes or how you sit in front of the computer too, are some of the major contributors to eyestrain. The common symptoms of eyestrain are sore, irritated eyes.
FYI spending just two continuous hours on a digital device can cause eyestrain and fatigue. Constant exposure to blue light over a period of time could also lead to damaged retinal cells. This can result in vision problems such as age-related macular degeneration.
Increases The Risk Of Macular Degeneration
Blue light passes all the way through to the retina. Studies have proven that constant exposure to blue light can cause damage to light-sensitive cells in the retina. This results in macular degeneration, which can further lead to permanent loss of vision. According to many eye care professionals, exposure to blue light from computer screens and smartphones may increase a person’s risk of macular degeneration if not now then probably later in life.
Greater Risk Of Certain Types Of Cancer
Working night shifts and exposing your eyes to blue light at night could lead to several types of cancer along with diabetes, heart diseases, obesity, and depression. Although researchers aren’t exactly sure as to why exposure to blue light at night can have such adverse effects on our health, they know one thing for sure, exposure to blue light cuts off the seepage of melatonin. And low melatonin levels could be the reason for these types of health problems.
Ways To Protect Your Eyes From Blue Light
Reduce Screen Time
Smartphone usage has been one of the biggest drivers of increased screen usage. We look at screens more than we sleep. More screen time means more exposure to blue light, hence, the first and the most important step to protect your eyes from blue light damage is to reduce your screen time. We’re all so glued to our devices that we’ve forgotten what nature looks like, so it’s time to ditch that mobile/tablet/laptop and look at your surroundings, visit a park or take a short trip to a village nearby.
Blue Light Filters
If time doesn’t permit or you’re someone who works constantly, blue light filters are for you. Since work keeps you occupied and you don’t see yourself out vacationing, switching on the blue light filter on the devices you use most will prove helpful. They cut down the emission of blue light and your screen looks more yellow. This is a good sign! For added protection, you can also opt for eyeglasses with a blue light filter for times when you’re outdoors and exposed to sunlight.