Blue light is often deemed bad and our digital devices contain this light. But does it truly deserve all this hate? Or is it just a made up story fabricated by your parents to keep you away from your devices? Let’s debunk the myth.
What is blue light?
Sunlight contains different colours of lights including red, orange, yellow, blue and green. These lights are defined by their wavelength and energy and together they form the ‘white light’ of the sun.
We don’t want to baffle you up with scientific details. In layman’s terms, light that has short wavelength has high-energy rays and vice versa. Blue light has the shortest wavelengths and high-intensity rays and thus has a stronger impact on our eye health.
Even the sunlight that appears white to your eyes has a blue component. Apart from the sun, we get blue light from:
- CFL bulbs
- LED lights
- Digital screens
So, this light is both indoors and outdoors and it is almost impossible to escape it. But, its effect can be significantly brought down by wearing the right type of glasses or limiting the screen use.
Is blue light harmful?
Just like the UV rays from the Sun, blue light has both good and bad effects on your health. The goodness comes from the natural source of this light i.e. the sun. Studies have established that exposure to sunlight boosts alertness and improves our sleep patterns and cognitive functions.
Our sleep/wake cycle is regulated by the melatonin levels in our body which is responsible for making us feel drowsy. Sunlight keeps these levels in check sending signals to our brain that it’s daytime.
But, when we are exposed to blue light at night, our brain interprets the screen light as daylight which messes our internal clock.
Also, staring at a digital screen for longer durations can lead to eye fatigue. Why? Blue light travels in shorter waves than other lights and thus gets scattered easily. This is why our eyes struggle to see when looking at a screen and when we do this for longer periods, our eyes get worn out.
Our retinal cells that form our vision are more vulnerable to blue light. The exposure to intense blue rays can ruin your retinal health therefore hampering your vision. Your regular single vision or varifocal lenses are not competent enough to block this light.
What to do?
You won’t go blind by spending just a day on your digital device. But there are some physical and eye discomforts you may feel along the way. These discomforts such as headaches, eye pain and blurred vision are together termed as ‘Digital Eye Strain’.
It’s important to take care of this situation. Here is what you can do:
- Limit the screen time and cut down the possibility of developing the symptoms of digital eye strain.
- Use the 20/20/20 formula. For every 20 minutes of screen time, take a break and refocus your eyes at something 20 feet away. Do this for 20 seconds so that your eyes won’t strain to change focus.
- Practice some visual exercises to relax and rejuvenate your peppers. It will enhance your optic health by improving blood circulation to your eyes.
- Use screen filters to reduce the amount of blue light emitting from these devices. Also, don’t use your devices in dim or bright light conditions.
- Wear blue light glasses to stop this light from penetrating your eyes. You can get blue light blocking glasses in the UK at affordable prices if you buy them online.
- Blink your eyes as much as you can. It will lubricate your eyes so they won’t feel itchy or irritated from all that bright light.
Blue light and glasses
Glasses have come a long way from correcting your vision to protecting it from harmful lights. And blue light glasses are a fine example of this progression. Any glasses can be made fit to fight against blue light. They just need to have a blue light coating on them.
In case you are buying reading glasses online, you can add this coating and safely wear your readers during digital consumption.
Don’t leave your eyes helpless against digital screens. Give them the protection of blue light glasses and secure a better optic health.