Blue light is a color in the visible light spectrum that can be seen by the human eyes. Unlike other colors, the wavelength of blue light is short, meaning that it produces higher amounts of energy. This might not sound anything to worry about, but studies have shown that excessive exposure to blue light can cause a range of unpleasant and debilitating symptoms.
Sunlight is our main source of blue light, and we get the greatest amount of exposure to it from spending time outdoors. However, it is far from the only source of blue light that we come across day to day. Blue light also has many indoor sources including television screens, fluorescent lighting, and LED lighting. More importantly, many of the electronic devices we use day to day also emit blue light, including laptops, smartphones and more. Since we spend a lot of time using these, most of us are exposed to more blue light than ever before.
Some of the most common effects of blue light exposure include eyestrain, fatigue, headaches, and insomnia. However, in addition to these effects, blue light can also increase your risk of developing a number of ocular health problems. This is because blue light penetrates all the way through the eye to the retina, which is the area of light-sensitive cells at the very back of the eye. Research has indicated that blue light can damage these cells, causing changes to them that closely resemble macular degeneration.
Blue light blocking lenses are exactly what their name suggests – lenses that are used to prevent blue light from reaching your eyes. Not only can blue light blocking lenses be placed into glasses frames, but you can also purchase filters that sit over the top of specific items in order to reduce the amount of blue light that they emit. These include special filters for smartphones, tablets and computer screens and they will all reduce blue light without affecting the visibility of the display.
Firstly, it is important to state that not all blue light is bad. In fact, some blue light exposure is essential for us to maintain good health. This is because blue light does have some positive effects on our bodies too. Firstly, with its high energy waves, blue light has been shown to boost our concentration levels and even improve our memory. Secondly, blue light is a proven mood-booster and is regularly used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which occurs when a person experiences a particularly low mood during the winter months. Finally, blue light is necessary for the regulation of our sleep/wake cycle.
Nevertheless, there are times when we should consider blocking out blue light to prevent it from reaching our eyes. One of the most important is when we are using artificial sources of blue light – your smartphone, your laptop, and your television. You can either use filers placed over your device, or blue light blocking glasses. If you already need prescription eyewear because you have a refractive condition such as myopia or presbyopia, you may be able to have blue light blocking filters placed into your prescription lenses. You may also wish to consider wearing blue light blocking lenses if you spend extensive amounts of time in artificially lit environments such as offices that use fluorescent or LED bulbs.
If you would like more advice on how to keep your eyes safe from blue light and when you should be wearing blue light blocking lenses, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert eye care team today.