Contrary to popular belief, blue light is not just the light that comes from our screens, computers, phones, or televisions. Blue light can be found everywhere, and the major source of blue light is the sun, that is why we see the sky as blue. So, when we move around in the day we are being exposed to blue light.
The light spectrum is made up of infrared, UV, and visible light. The visible light is the only one detectable by the human eye and blue light is part of it. The blue light has a high concentration of energy and shorter wavelengths.
Effects of Blue light
Even though the sun is the main generator of blue light, there is still concern over the long-term effects of looking at our devices because of how close they are to our eyes and how long we use them.
Our eyes are not naturally built to block blue light, that is why after looking at your screen for too long, you can get digital eye strain. This usually comes with headaches, blurred vision, sore and itchy eyes amongst others.
Blue light can cause cataracts and macular degeneration at a young age. This is damage to the retina and leads to blindness with time.
Blue light is not entirely bad, it is known to help boost alertness, increase memory, and mood.
Being exposed to the right dose of blue light can help determine our circadian rhythm, which is telling the body when to sleep and when to be awake.
Children also need the right exposure to sunlight to help the growth and development of their eyes. Some studies show that a lack of sufficient exposure to blue light can cause nearsightedness.
How to protect ourselves from the negative effects of blue light
Reduce screen time
For people that work with computers or phones, this may be a little bit tricky. Just find time to rest your eye in-between work.
Try the “20-20-20 rule”
The rule is that for every twenty-minute you look at your computer screen, you have to look at an object that is 20 meters away for 20 seconds.
There are many screen filters made for computers and phones. This helps shield your eyes and reduce the amount of blue light that may get to your retina from your screens.
Blue Blocker Glasses
Extremely necessary to help protect us from blue light. They are tinted yellow glasses that protect the eye, by filtering the blue light with an added lens coating.
Knowledge is power, and with the right knowledge, you can protect yourself from early-onset macular degeneration, cataracts, and other negative effects of blue light. You can also talk to an eye care professional for other options that can protect your eyes from blue light.