Eye Safety Blog

Blue Light and What it Does to You

Posted by Courtney DeFord on Tue, Feb 02, 2016 @ 15:02 PM
Courtney DeFord

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                Ever wonder why you’re always feeling tired? Or after working in an office all day, your eyes are killing you? This is because your body is feeling the effects of blue light, causing you to have eye strain.

                Light is made up from various wavelengths that are all under different “categories” on the electromagnetic spectrum. Blue light is a part of the only spectrum that humans are sensitive to: Visible Light. Other colors on this spectrum are violet, indigo, green, yellow, orange, and red.

                According to www.bluelightexposed.com, it has been suggested by studies that prolonged exposure to blue light could cause long-term damage to one’s eyes. In addition to causing things like retinal damage or macular degeneration, blue light also has an effect on our sleep cycles, but we will get to that later.

                Sources of blue light are the sun, digital screens, electronic screens, LED lights, and fluorescent lights. When you’re outside, the blue light wavelengths from the sun meet with the air particles, causing the blue light to disperse, which is what makes the sky look blue.

                Naturally, our eyes weren’t built for protecting themselves against the blue light that is given off by the sun. It would only make sense that they are also not able to protect themselves against devices such as the smart phone and the blue light that is given off from other similar devices.

                An increasing problem that people are having is how blue light effects their sleeping pattern, throwing the body’s circadian rhythm or “time clock” out of whack. Studies have shown that blue light slows the production of the hormone melatonin, which is produced by our bodies to help aid in sleeping. Melatonin helps to ease the mind and invites you to fall asleep. This would mean that those nights that you lay in bed and scroll through your social media before going to sleep is actually hindering your ability to get a sound night’s rest.

                In closing, although blue light can elevate your mood and awareness, having long-term, repeated exposure can harm your eyes. Take some time away from the electronic devices that you use every day and focus on the natural light that surrounds you or speak with your eyecare provider about getting special lenses that help to block out the harmful blue light being emitted from your electronics.

Topics: Blue light