What is Blue Light?
Blue light is a high-energy visible (HEV) light in the visible light spectrum. The most exposure we get to blue light is from the sunlight and it is called natural blue light. However, there are other sources of artificial blue light as well.
Artificial blue light is emitted from electronic devices such as mobile phones, computers, laptops, and even gaming devices.
Our eyes do not contain a blue light filter, and this makes it possible for blue light to penetrate and enter our eyes. It can have certain harmful effects on our bodies, depending on the time and duration of exposure.
Positive Effects on Health
The blue light we get from sunlight during the day can have several beneficial effects on our bodies. Moreover, blue light therapy may also be a remedy for acne and depression. Here’s how it helps.
Natural blue light exposure can increase the body’s alertness. Research has shown that people with higher exposure to blue light in the morning feel less sleepy, react faster and perform tasks better. It concludes that exposure to natural blue light in the morning can reduce sleepiness and sustain a high level of alertness.
Growth and Development
Exposure to natural blue light during the day is necessary for the development and growth of your child. Not getting enough sunlight can affect the development of a child’s eyes. A study concluded that children who spent extra time outdoors each day had a lower risk of getting myopia than those who spent more time indoors.
Exposure to blue light is also associated with enhanced working memory and better task performance. Working memory refers to the information held in the human mind and used in cognitive tasks, such as problem-solving.
A study on working memory and brain activity showed that participants who were exposed to blue light while performing a memory-related task performed better than those exposed to amber light. Moreover, MRIs also showed increased brain activity in the region associated with working memory when exposed to blue light.
Blue light has significant effects on our mood as well. It helps decrease sleepiness and increase alertness, which results in an elevated mood. Moreover, blue light therapies for people with brain injuries have helped elevate their mood. It also helps manage seasonal depression, called seasonal affective disorder or SAD.
Research has shown that exposure to sunlight for 20 minutes can ease the symptoms of SAD.
Negative Effects on Health
How many of us have a routine that requires us to check our phones before bed? Prolonged artificial blue light exposure at night can harm our eyes, sleep cycles, and health.
Eye Strain and Damage
Digital eye strain is another effect of blue light. It is difficult for the eyes to adjust and focus with blue light. Artificial blue light from electronic devices, such as phones, laptops, and computers, that are hard to adjust, can decrease contrast. It can dry out the eyes, irritate them, and lead to eye strain. You can prevent this by using a blue light filter for computer screens or mobile devices.
Moreover, blue light can harm our vision. We expose our eyes to blue light all the time we spend on our digital devices. It can contribute to macular degeneration, which causes loss of central vision. As people age, they start to lose the clarity of their vision. Prolonged exposure to artificial blue light from digital devices can fasten this process.
Do you have a habit of catching up with your favorite shows before bed? Screen time before bed means exposure to blue light before bed.
Blue light can disrupt sleep by affecting the circadian rhythm. It can suppress the release of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone, and make it difficult to fall and stay asleep. Excessive exposure to blue light will result in trouble sleeping, may wake you up during the night, and cause tiredness the next day.
Getting enough sleep is essential for overall health. By disrupting the natural sleep pattern, you can end up getting sick due to a lack of sleep.
While natural blue light exposure during the day can suppress melatonin and make people feel more awake and productive, artificial blue light exposure does the opposite.
Lack of sleep, digital eye strain, and tiredness from using digital devices at night can make you unproductive the next day. People who do not get enough sleep often feel too weak to function. Moreover, it can decrease the speed and efficiency of their task performance.
Some people experience headaches without knowing the cause. The cause can be the number of hours you spend in front of your computer screen each day, exposed to blue light.
Digital eye strain from staring at electronic devices for hours can lead to headaches. It is because these devices emit blue lights. Exposure to blue light combined with light sensitivity can also trigger migraines.
Adverse Effects on Children
Children are at a higher risk of damage from blue light than adults. It is because children are still developing until the age of 14 or 15. Moreover, they have larger pupils that absorb more blue light.
Children who use digital devices before bed expose themselves to blue light. It confuses their brain and affects their sleep cycle. Blue light can suppress melatonin in children’s brains twice as much as in adults. It can keep their brains awake at night.
A sleep schedule for children is essential in their growth and development. Not getting enough hours of sleep can make it difficult for children to achieve optimal growth and development. It can also lead to the development of unhealthy sleeping patterns.
Moreover, blue light can also cause poor eye health in children. Blue light can scatter easily and make it hard for children to focus. It can put stress on their developing eyes, causing eye strain.
Eye strain in children can lead to blurred vision and a burning sensation in the eyes. It can result in myopia at a young age, which is a loss of clarity or blurry vision for objects that are farther away.
How to Reduce Blue Light Exposure?
The good news is that you can limit exposure to artificial blue light to protect yourself and your children from these harmful effects.
Limiting Screen Time
One good way to limit exposure to blue light is limiting screen time – especially before bed. Try not to use your digital devices before bed, and ensure your children do the same. Skip movies before bedtime and replace them with storytelling to distract your children from their digital devices.
Using Screen Protectors
Blue light filters and anti-blue light protectors for computers and other electronic devices can block or decrease blue light entering your eyes. They can also protect your device screen while still showing the original colors. These filters are available for various devices, such as smartphones, laptops, tabs, etc.
Using Eye Supplements
Eye supplements and drops can also ease dry and itchy eyes by adding moisture. They can improve your vision and reduce the risk of eye disease. It can enhance the overall health of your eyes with natural ingredients that are proven effective.
If you work on your computer or laptop for up to 8 hours each day, you should take small breaks away from your digital device. Taking small 30 seconds to 1-minute breaks after every 20 minutes can help distract your brain from constantly absorbing blue light. It can also help with digital eye strain.
Wearing Anti Blue Light Glasses
If you find it difficult to stay away from screens or keep your children away from them, you can get anti-blue light glasses for them and yourself. Reliable anti-blue light glasses for women can block artificial blue light from harming the eyes. These are available for kids as well. For maximum protection, get your kids an anti-blue light screen protector for iPad too.
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MyBlueProtector offers a range of blue light filters and anti-blue light screen protectors for various digital devices, including but not limited to iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, laptops, etc. Our products are FDA & MHRA approved to block blue light from affecting your body. Our product portfolio also includes anti-blue light glasses for men and women, eye supplements, and sleeping masks.
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