You may have heard people complain that they need to get special glasses or computer screens because of eye problems. Those people might have mentioned that they are having issues because of the effects of blue light.
What is blue light?
Light is a spectrum of different colors, and those with longer wavelengths, like reds, have less energy. Colors with shorter wavelengths, like blue light and ultraviolet light, have more energy. Wavelengths with more energy are more visible, and in fact, blue light is everywhere. Your eyes aren't naturally good at blocking blue light, but a perfect pair of sunglasses will block 100% of UV rays to protect your eyes from harmful rays.
How can blue light harm you?
The effects of blue light can be felt in several ways. The most direct impact of blue light is that it affects sleep by altering your circadian rhythms, which generally help regulate your sleeping patterns.
Daylight usually helps regulate your internal clock, but staying up late, avoiding sunlight, and using electronics at night can strongly affect your inner clock. In regards to our eyes, blue light increases eye strain, irritation, and difficulty focusing. There are studies to suggest that exposure to blue light over time can cause damage to the retina (the cells in the eye that we use to see) and increase the risk of macular degeneration. Studies have even shown that night light exposure can be linked to obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. It is essential to be aware of the effects of blue light on your own life.
How to protect yourself
There are several ways you can protect yourself from the effects of blue light:
- Expose yourself to a lot of bright sunlight during the day, so you can stay alert, which will also help you be more tired when you go to sleep at night (but don’t forget the UV protection!)
- If you have to work on electronic devices or a computer, consider getting blue-blocking glasses, installing an app to cut down on blue light, or adjusting your computer settings to reduce the amount of blue light
- Avoid looking at bright screens for at least a few hours before bed
- Use dim red lights at night
Your eye health is too important to take chances with. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, blue light could be affecting your eyes, call Gem State Family Eyecare or schedule an appointment online. We offer comprehensive exams to diagnose problems early, treatment for injury and eye diseases, and products such as contact lenses, protective eyewear, and glasses with a two-year warranty. Even though most of our lenses have blue-light protection, we also have a special blue-light lens package to optimize your eye protection.