Is Blue Light Dangerous For Your Eyes?

A question that many people have been asking in recent years is, is blue light dangerous? Whilst yes, overexposure to blue light can potentially cause some lasting damage, not all blue light is dangerous. Natural blue light from sunlight plays a pivotal role in regulating some biological processes in our body. However, too much blue light from devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers can affect our sleep/wake cycles and cause digital eye strain. 

Below, reputable eye care providers R Woodfall, discuss how blue light can affect our health and how we can combat this.

What is blue light?

Blue light is a type of visible light that is very high energy and has a short wavelength. Blue light is naturally found in sunlight, but our electronic devices are also known to emit this type of light in excess. These artificial sources of blue light are considered to bring potential harm to our eyes. Here’s how prolonged exposure to blue light can harm our eyes:

Digital eye strain 

One of the most common side effects of being exposed to too much blue light is digital eye strain (sometimes called computer vision syndrome). The symptoms of this temporary eye condition include: blurred vision, red eyes, headaches, watery or dry eyes, sore eyes, and more. 

Staring at digital screens for extended periods can cause digital eye strain. Blue light emitted from screens can contribute to this strain, leading to unfavourable symptoms. There are a number of ways to reduce the symptoms of digital eye strain that we will talk about later. 

Potential retina damage

Because blue light can penetrate more deeply than the other colours on the light spectrum, prolonged exposure could cause damage to the photoreceptors in the eyes. Damage to the photoreceptors is associated with a variety of concerning eye conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). 

Sleep disruption 

Blue light is known to affect the sleep/wake cycle. This is because overexposure to blue light can interfere with melatonin production (the hormone responsible for regulating the sleep/wake cycle), which can disrupt your sleeping pattern. This is because blue light signals the body to stay awake, which is why staying off your smartphone before bed is heavily advised.

How to combat blue light exposure 

There are several ways to combat the number of risks involved with overexposure to blue light. Here’s how.

Blue light filtration lenses

Some eyewear companies now offer blue light lenses, which help protect against exposure to blue light. Blue light filtration can be incorporated into your existing prescription if you have one, providing you with everyday protection. If you don’t wear glasses currently but are experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain when at work, you can buy blue light glasses that will absorb most of the blue light from your electronic screens. This can minimise sleep disturbances as well as protect yourself from eye strain. 

Limit your screen time

Make sure you take breaks from your screens to lower your chances of digital eye strain. Try avoiding your smartphone or tablet an hour before you go to bed if you’re experiencing problems with your sleeping pattern.

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