Blue light has been a common topic recently, but what actually is it? Is it dangerous? Will it harm your (or your children’s) eyes?
It’s a complicated question to answer, but fortunately, there are solutions that can protect your eyes from overexposure to blue light. Here’s a little about what blue light is, the risks of high exposure, and how you can protect your family’s eyes:
What Is Blue Light?
Most people know that the light we see is on a spectrum, with low-energy, visible light on one end and high-energy, invisible light on the other. Generally, the higher the energy, the more dangerous a source of light is — for example, harmful UV rays are near the high-energy end of spectrum. Blue light is the highest energy visible light on the spectrum.
Does this mean blue light is as dangerous as UV light? Certainly not. In fact, like UV rays, blue light comes from the sun and our bodies actually use to regulate our internal (circadian) rhythms. Where the problems come from is the amount of blue light is coming from, as well as the source.
See, prior to the advent of the technology we use today, the sun was our only major source of blue light. Today, we receive blue light rays not only from the sun, but from backlit screens and electronics — smart phones, tablets, TV, computers, and more.
The Problem with Blue Light
Our brains and bodies are not accustomed to the amount of screen time we’re suddenly getting. When we spend the evening watching TV or scrolling through our phones before bed, our internal clocks get confused. When we spend our work or school days staring at a computer monitor, it can not only affect our internal rhythms — it can damage the eyes, causing an uncomfortable condition called “digital eye strain” or “computer vision”. This comes with the following symptoms:
- Headaches and neck pain
- Eye pain or discomfort
- Loss of focus
- Physical and mental fatigue
Clearly, these are not conducive to focus and productivity during school or at work.
How to Combat Damage from Blue Light
It’s important to remember that not all blue light is bad; it’s the overexposure to blue light that we should be worried about. In a time when more people are working or learning from home, we need to be mindful of how much screen time we’re getting. If you’re concerned that it’s more than usual, consider eyewear equipped with blue light filtering technology to help fend off blue light whenever you’re looking at screens for a long time.