Can blue light really have damaging effects on your eyes?
J

Julie Topping

Published on January 18, 2022, 6:49 am

Can blue light really have damaging effects on your eyes?

In present times, digitalisation has made its way into almost all aspects of our lives. From waking up with the help of our phone’s alarm clock - most of us relying on the snooze feature - to checking out our social media updates before falling off to sleep, digital technologies have come to be a significant part of our lives.

One of the most important developments due to digitalisation has been the increase in screen time, which many of us have been subjected to. In a study conducted by industry watchdog Ofcom, it was found that adults in the UK had an average weekly screen time of 45 hours. This is not just any general data, but one which is a cause for concern.


Increasing screen time: Why worry?

A high screen time may be associated with a lot of health concerns - both physical and mental. These include problems like chronic neck and back pain, obesity, sleep deprivation, and even mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Also, with the increase in screen time, the time that you spend on physical activities naturally reduces.

In the recent past, what has also caught the eyes of medical experts is the effect of blue light - emitted from digital screens - on our health, especially the sensitive eyes. Before we discuss blue light’s effect on the eyes, we need to understand what blue light actually is. Read on!


What is blue light?

Among the many components of the visible spectrum of light, blue light is one of them. In the visible spectrum, light in the violet-blue range has the highest frequencies. In simple terms, the higher the frequency, the more the energy and the shorter the wavelength. Hence, blue light’s wavelength is the least in the visible spectrum.

Blue light emanates from both natural and artificial sources. The natural source is the sun, which also accounts for the majority of blue light on the earth. The artificial sources include digital screens, fluorescent and LED light bulbs, among others.


Is blue light harmful?

Many studies have been conducted and there are also ongoing works to find out whether blue light is bad for the eyes or not. Although the results can still not be termed conclusive, significant findings have been made, which can serve as a guiding principle for further action.

Blue light - in the right amount - is in fact crucial for the functioning of our body. It is known to facilitate alertness, keep us active and also alleviate our mood. Blue light is also one of the dominative factors responsible for keeping our circadian rhythm (body’s natural wake and sleep cycle) aligned.

But when does it get problematic? There are a few things you need to keep in mind here. Excessive exposure, exposure towards the end of the day (after sunset), and exposure under dim light conditions. In the above-stated scenarios, blue light might prove to be harmful to your eyes. And the reason behind this is the relatively higher frequency of blue light.


Does blue light damage eyes?

We have already discussed that blue light - in particular scenarios - may be harmful to our eyes. But in what ways?

The most common issue that one might experience is digital eye strain. Its major symptoms include dry eyes and blurred vision. Excessive exposure to blue light over a long period of time may also result in conditions like phototoxicity (damage of retina) and age-related macular degeneration, although more medical evidence is needed to establish this.


What should be our approach?

It is understood that cutting down screen time to negligible levels or even by a significant scale may not be possible for most of us, considering our dependence on digital mediums for even necessary life activities. And the pandemic has only amplified this dependence further. So what do we do?

Wherever unnecessary or in cases where an alternative exists, we should abstain from using a digital screen. We also need to adopt good digital wellbeing habits such as eliminating our exposure to digital screens a couple of hours before we fall off to sleep, or refraining from unconsciously scrolling through our social media feed, among others.

Another preventive measure that has gathered pace among the consumers is a pair of blue light blocking glasses. But, how far can blue light light glasses go to ensure that our eyes remain safe from the ill effects of blue light?


Are blue light glasses worth it?

Glasses with blue light protection use a coating of blue light filter on their lenses. This coating is specifically designed to block the blue light falling on the lenses, and effectively eliminates the risk of any eye conditions that may result due to blue light exposure.

The blue light filter is not at all harmful to the eyes. It only does good and no harm. If you do have a prescription, you can even get a pair of blue light glasses with prescription.

To answer the question - are blue light glasses worth it? Definitely, yes! It is high time that you get a pair for yourself. For a stylish pair of blue light blocking glasses, you can browse through our extensive collection.


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