We are aware that sunlight comprise of visible light rays and invisible UV rays. Did you know that visible light emitted from the sun contains a range of different colored lights that contains a different amount of energy?
Visible light is much more complicated than we think, right? It contains red, blue, green, yellow, and various other shades amongst which blue light is the most notorious and rightly so.
Blue light is emitted by the sun naturally and is responsible for keeping us active and alert in the day, whereas excessive exposure can have various health implications.
This article will discuss the health impacts of blue light and how to deal with it.
What is blue light, and how does it affect our health?
Blue light is a very short wavelength and high energy light. Many studies suggest that prolonged and untimed exposure of blue light can pose some serious health hazards.
We enjoy unwinding our day watching our favorite TV shows or reading a good book on our tablet. These past times seem pretty wholesome. However, our obsession with digital devices can impose various health implications.
Ever experience throbbing headaches after the prolonged use of computers and smartphones? The blue light emitting from these digital devices can be the culprit to blame.
There is a specific eye to the brain pathway, which is separate from where vision is transmitted. Blue light disrupts this pathway, and this, in turn, causes headaches and migraines.
Computer vision syndrome
For many of us, our job requires working on computer screens all day. This means we are continuously exposing an excessive amount of blue light, and this excessive exposure can cause many eye-related issues.
Not only computer screens but our smartphones can cause problematic eye issues like sore and tired eyes. These two signs are the main symptoms of digital eye strain. Excessive blue light from digital devices can cause eye dryness as well.
The more we will use these devices, the more our eyes will get exposed to blue light, and hence the more eye-related problems will arise.
Studies have shown a direct link between blue light and sleep disruption. The more the blue light night’s exposures, the more will it reduce melatonin expression, which is the sleep-inducing hormone.
Looking at digital devices at night can bring havoc in our natural sleep, and wake cycle called the circadian rhythm. This disruption in circadian rhythm can lead to other health implications like such as daytime tiredness and lethargy.
Besides causing eye strain and pain, blue light can pose a severe threat to our eye health. Although there is a lack of evidence, some researchers suggest that UVA light (which is abundantly present in blue light) can damage our eyes’ retina.
The UVA absorption by our eye can damage its membranes and may cause cataracts and macular degeneration. However, please note that these health implications can be imparted due to prolonged exposure.
Other health issues
Various other indirect health issues are indirectly caused by extended exposure to blue light.
- A poor night’s sleep disrupted by the decreased melatonin secretion can lead to impaired memory the next day, and we will find it harder to concentrate.
- Lower levels of melatonin can lead to a neurotoxin secretion that makes us fall asleep even harder.
- People with low melatonin levels and decreased night sleep are more prone to get depression. Ever wonder why there is a sharp rise in depression cases? Blue light can be the reason.
- Melatonin deregulation can affect the disruption in other body hormones, too, like the hormones controlling hunger, and this can lead to food-related issues and obesity.
- One serious implication of disturbed night sleep is that it links to cancers like breast cancer and prostate cancer.
- Low melatonin levels and extended blue light exposure has also been shown to have a link with diabetes, cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, and heart diseases.
We cannot keep ourselves entirely protected from sunlight, and honestly, we don’t need extensive protection from it. We cannot stop ourselves from stepping out in the sun; neither can we stop using digital devices altogether.
What we can do is that we can limit the exposure of untimed and unrequired blue light. With some easy measures, we can surely save ourselves from the harmful health impacts of blue light. Again, the limitation is the key.