As digital screens have become a more significant part of our lives, you might have started hearing about 'blue light'. Apple introduced Night Mode to their devices a couple of years ago and blue light blocking glasses are starting to become prominent across influencers social media pages. People, most often, talk about how it interrupts your sleep patterns. That’s why a lot of doctors advise that you don’t bring your phone to bed. Advice which, let’s be honest, most of us ignore. However, the impact of blue light goes beyond interrupted sleep.
What Is Blue Light?
It’s all in the name, really. Blue light is just that; it’s light that’s in the blue part of the spectrum. To explain the significance of that, we’re going to have to explore a little bit of physics. It won’t hurt, we promise!
White light is made up of all the colours of the spectrum, from red through to blue/violet. When you see a rainbow, it’s because the white light has been split into all the colours that make it up. It can be split up because the different colours carry slightly different amounts of energy. The red light is the lowest energy, and blue light is the highest energy.
To understand why this is important, it might help to know that if you could put just a little bit more energy into the blue light, it would become UV light instead. UV light is dangerous because of how much energy it has. So, blue light is not as damaging as UV but is more harmful than red light.
Where Are You Exposed To Blue Light?
You are exposed to blue light all the time. The sun gives off light in the whole spectrum, including blue. So, we are adapted to seeing blue light without it being an issue. However, all the lights in your home, your screens, TV, computer, and phone, also give out blue light. What’s more, the light they give out has more blue in it than the sun’s light.
How Does Blue Light Affect Your Eyes?
There are two main ways that blue light affects your eyes.
Blue light scatters more than red and yellow light. This means that it can be harder to focus on light sources with a larger blue component, like the light from a screen. You might not realise it as you are looking at a screen, but your eyes will be working harder to focus on the images. This can cause tired eyes, headaches, and fatigue.
You may be aware that UV light can cause damage to your eyes. It’s why you don’t stare at the sun. The high energy UV light causes an oxidation reaction in your retina’s cells and can kill or damage these crucial cells.
As we mentioned, blue light is high energy. As you get older, your body is not as good at resisting the effects of large amounts of blue light. Blue light can begin to cause similar damage to UV light and may lead to conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This is a condition that can cause vision loss.
How To Protect Your Eyes From Blue Light
Our eyes aren’t very good at filtering out blue light. They never needed to be. Most of the light from the sun is red/yellow. This means we need to take steps to protect our eyes from the large amounts of blue light that they are now exposed to.
Reduce Screen Time
Reducing your exposure to the blue light from screens is one option that can help to prevent damage to your eyes. This could be as drastic as cutting out all devices for a few hours every day. If that’s not an option, you can try to consciously take a break from looking at the screen every hour or so. Even blinking more often and more slowly, while using a screen can have a positive impact.
Use Colour Filters
You can get filters that reduce the amount of blue light that reaches your eyes. You may have seen people wearing yellow-tinted glasses. These are often blue light filtering glasses. Your device may have a ‘night-time’ mode. In these settings, the colour of the screen changes to warmer tones. This means that your device emits less blue light.
You can try taking an eye health supplement like Nutri Eye. It’s a supplement full of nutrients to support healthy eyes. These include Meso-zeaxanthin, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin. These three nutrients have been shown to act as antioxidants in your eyes. This provides protection against the effects of both UV and blue light. They have also been shown to reduce the risks of AMD, helping to maintain healthy vision for as long as possible.