Eye wellness

Is blue light bad for your eyes

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Recently, with the increase in digital device use, there has been concern that blue light is bad for your vision. But is it true? Is blue light bad for your eyes? The short answer is yes, but not in the way you think.

Excessive exposure to blue light can cause damage to eye cells and macular degeneration. But the amount and intensity of blue light emitted by everyday electronics, including smartphones, tablets, LCD TVs, and laptop computers, is too low to harm the retina.

What is blue light: the definition

What is blue light? Sunlight contains red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet light. Each color has a different energy and wavelength; red has longer wavelengths and less energy. Blue has shorter wavelengths and more energy. The spectrum combined produces the white light you see and can have a large blue component exposing the eye to higher wavelengths from the blue end of the spectrum.

Why is blue light bad? Because blue light scatters easier than other visible light, it's not as easy to focus. Prolonged exposure can cause eye strain and dry eyes. Also, blue light has more energy per photon of light than other colors in the visible spectrum. In high doses, it is more likely to cause damage to body cells.

LED technology and blue light from electronic devices

Like sunlight, most incandescent light sources emit a wide spectrum of light. LEDs on the other hand, are specifically designed by the manufacturer to produce very narrow peaks of light. Due to this, LEDs appear almost indistinguishable from white light, or sunlight. Additionally, they are capable of mimicking traditional artificial light sources.

Even though the user may not see it, white LEDs may emit more blue light than conventional light sources. This makes them more stimulating to the circadian clock (your body's internal clock) than ordinary light sources disrupting your sleep impacting your circadian rhythm.

Blue light effects on eyes

What does blue light do to your eyes? Does blue light damage eyes? High-energy sunlight in big doses, such as UV and blue rays, can increase your chance of developing eye diseases. According to experts, 50% of computer users experience digital eye strain, often known as computer vision syndrome. Vision blurring and dry, itchy eyes are symptoms.

Due to blue light's direct path to the retina, it may also cause damage to your retinas. The absorption of high-intensity blue light in the retinas over long periods may raise the risk of the retinal disease macular degeneration.

Blue light eye: risks and common symptoms

Any source of intense blue light has the potential to be harmful to the eyes. Blue light sources in the workplace are intentionally filtered or shielded to safeguard users. However, because many high-power consumer LEDs are so bright, it could be dangerous to stare at them directly.

Blue light eye damage increases the risk of macular degeneration or blindness. Damage from exposure to normal amounts of blue light from consumer devices is low compared to the damage caused by aging, smoking, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and being overweight.

Using blue light-blocking lenses to easy fatigue and maintain eye health could be helpful when combined with a healthy lifestyle.

How to protect your eyes from blue light

There are several things that you can do to protect your eyes from the negative effects of blue light:

  • Wear sunglasses with high-quality lenses that block 99 to 100% of UV rays and roughly 75 to 90% of visible light when you're outside.
  • Wear computer glasses with a specific blue light filter coating when using your smartphone, tablet, computer, or other digital devices. While the amount of blue light these devices emit is not enough to cause damage to your eyes, it will lessen any eye strain you experience.
  • Maintain a healthy diet and exercise. A nutrient-rich diet, or even taking supplements for your eyes, can help slow the effects of macular degeneration.

Finally, take time to meet our eye care professional by scheduling a thorough annual eye checkup.