Blue Light is high energy visible light (HEV) in the light spectrum with a shorter wavelength of about 380-500 nm (nanometer).
To understand this light, we first need to understand the physics behind the light spectrum or electromagnetic spectrum. Light travels in the form of electromagnetic particles(photons), each having a different wavelength and different energy levels.
The light spectrum has two parts. One is a visible light spectrum that the human eye can see, including colors like red, orange, violet, etc. Second is the invisible light spectrum, which includes invisible radiations like ultraviolet rays, causing cancer.
It is the part of the visible light spectrum. We need to understand where it comes from so that we can understand its benefits and drawbacks.
In ancient times the only source of this light was the sun. Sun emits many types of visible and invisible lights, including bluish light. I will tell you the advantages of this natural light.
As time passed, human beings invented so many things that emit artificial light of this type. Some of these things are.
- Flat-screen TV’s
- Computer screens
- CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs
I will tell you about the disadvantages of artificial light of this type and how you can avoid it. So, let’s move forward towards the benefits of natural light of this type, and later on, we will discuss its drawbacks.
Benefits of Blue Light
There are so many excellent benefits of this light.
- It increases our alertness level, helps memory, and elevates mood.
- It is vital in maintaining our sleep cycle or circadian rhythm (a 24-hour cycle which we adhere to). In the morning, because of its high energy, this light penetrates our eyes’ retina. It suppresses the production of melatonin, which increase our alertness and maintains our circadian rhythm.
- Lack of sunlight during autumn and winter months can cause Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The lamps used to treat it have high energy bluish light in them to mimic the sun to treat this condition.
- A Deficiency of this type of light can cause myopia/nearsightedness in children.
Drawbacks of Blue Light
Besides its benefits, it has a lot of disadvantages related to it. The human eye is very good at blocking UV rays. But, it’s not that much excellent in blocking the bluish light. So, if we are being overexposed to artificial light of this type, it causes significant problems for our body and health.
Blue light protection glasses can prevent us from dangerous effects of this type of light.
As I already told you that human eyes are not very good at blocking this type of light. That’s why it can cause severe damage to our eyes.
- Digital Eyestrain
It is one of the main drawbacks of being highly exposed to artificial light of this type. The world has become digital, and almost every person directly or indirectly is related to digital devices like computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets.
When we keep using digital devices like mobile phones or computers for a lot of time, bluish light emitting from their screens can severely affect our eyes. It can cause a well-known syndrome known as digital eye strain syndrome.
Symptoms of digital eye strain syndrome include dry eyes, sore eyes, watery eyes, tired eyes, blurred vision, and headaches.
There is reliable scientific evidence that this type of light can damage cells in the center of the retina, which is a big reason for age-related macular degeneration leading to permanent vision loss. The retina is the innermost layer of our eye, which is responsible for vision.
The retina is a very thin layer. High energy and high-frequency light of this type penetrate into the eye’s macular pigment, which results in macular degeneration that must be corrected by surgery.
Our body has natural sunscreen protection. Melanin is a substance in our eyes that absorbs harmful sun rays: higher the melanin, more excellent the protection. But by age 65, we lose half of the melanin, making us more susceptible to macular degeneration.
9% of the vision loss in adults of the western world is caused by macular degeneration.
This light can affect circadian rhythms of anybody being exposed unnecessarily to this type of light. As night comes and the sun’s natural light of this type is reduced, our body starts producing an enzyme known as melatonin, which is responsible for maintaining our sleep cycle.
If we keep using our mobile phones or laptops late in the night, it could cause a reduced production of melatonin and, in this way, disturbs our sleep cycle.
Adopt 20-20-20 Rule
Eye doctors recommend the 20-20-20 rule for people who work on screens for long times. After every 20 minutes of screen exposure, this rule means observing something natural at 20 feet distance for 20 seconds.
It would help if you acknowledged the benefits and drawbacks of bluish light to grow better and to have a healthy life. It’s your responsibility to change some habits to avoid some big mishaps.