While the internet has brought a plethora of benefits to us, it has also enabled digital devices to be in front of us all the time. And that’s bad news! Many of us spend 70% of our day staring at these screens – be it LED TVs, cellphones, tablets, etc. When we are outside, we get exposed to the harmful ultra-violet rays and Blue Light radiating from the sun.
You may continue to enjoy infotainment from digital devices at your home and office. Also, get the vitamin D or tan your body from the sun’s rays. Unfortunately, if you have not protected your eyes, this overexposure could lead to some serious harm to your vision.
That’s definitely not what you asked for, right?
So, let’s understand what is this Blue Light, how to prevent it, and the best ways to remain protected yet enjoy all the goodies the world gives.
- · What is Blue Light?
- · How Does Blue Light Affect your Vision?
- · How Do Blue Light Glasses Work?
- · Are Blue Light Glasses Necessary?
- · Are There Any Risks to Wearing Blue Light Glasses All Day?
What is Blue Light?
You may know the rainbow colors – Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red – (aka VIBGYOR). If you spin all these colors, you get white color. That’s how the sunlight appears to be; it’s the combination of all these seven colors. Each color has its specific wavelength and energy level.
Blue, in the color spectrum, our subject in this article, has the shortest wavelength but higher energy than other colors. Did you know some of the Blue Light during daytime is beneficial because it boosts attention, reaction time, and mood? But not if continuously exposed for a longer duration.
It is harmful in a relatively darker environment, say evening or nighttime. That makes Blue Light the hero and the villain in our lives. We need it but should be kept in control and at a safe distance to avoid harmful effects.
As per some research, Blue Light (also known as HEV or High Energy Visibility) has a wavelength between 415 and 455 nanometers. The Blue Light that LED emits from your favorite devices is between 400 and 490 nanometers. Imagine the damage it does to the naked eyes if you stared at the digital screens throughout the day.
Continuously staring at digital screens exposes you to harmful Blue Light rays causing eyestrain and headaches. The Blue Light exposure would further increase in the evening when you continue to use these digital devices along with other illuminations from lighting products.
“People talk about blue light and sleep because it does affect both our alertness during the day and sleepiness at night”, explains Colleen Carney, PhD, an associate professor and director of the Sleep and Depression Laboratory at Ryerson University in Toronto.
Blue Light affecting your retinas, known as phototoxicity, can cause serious damage. In one research, exposure to Blue Light at night for as little as two hours reduced or prevented the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone.
Light disrupts the body's biological clock—the circadian rhythm—at night. The Blue Light emitted by electronic devices impairs your sleep cycle. This could adversely affect your productivity the next day.
Replace Harmful Source of Light:
As technology advances, we are introduced to more capable and energy-efficient products. If you are still using fluorescent lamps, it is high time to replace them with LED. They take lesser power, illuminate more, and display a soothing ambiance.
Digital devices are software driven and provide a night mode feature in their user interface. This would pose less strain to your eyes. Turning off your digital devices at least three hours before going to bed will help a peaceful sleep.
Wearing Blue Light glasses all day can help reduce eye strain from staring at screens, but no definitive studies are proving their effectiveness. There are also no known risks to wearing them, so if you find them helpful, there's no harm in using them. Blue Light glasses can be a helpful tool for reducing eyestrain and fatigue, but they may not be necessary for everyone.