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Even though it’s not a new concept, in recent years blue light has become quite the buzzword—but what is blue light? Where does it come from? And most importantly, what effects does it have on your eyes and how can you protect yourself from exposure?
At the most basic level, the colors of light you’re able to see on the visible spectrum have varying wavelengths, and in turn, differing amounts of energy. Light rays with longer wavelengths are on the red end of the light spectrum and contain less energy. Those with short wavelengths on the blue end of the light spectrum contain more energy.
Electromagnetic rays beyond the red end of the visible light spectrum are called infrared rays, and they are invisible, but warming—think of the warming lights you see on restaurant patios when it’s cold outside! Blue light rays, on the other side of the visible light spectrum, have invisible electromagnetic rays just beyond the visible light spectrum as well, called ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV rays have higher energy than visible light rays (even high energy blue rays!), and these rays are capable of creating changes in your skin, so these rays are found in tanning beds, which emit a controlled amount of blue UV light radiation to create a suntan.
Of all the light that’s visible to the human eyes, approximately one-third is blue light, which is why you get blue light exposure in a variety of everyday places, including:
Sunlight is the main source of blue light, however as our lives become increasingly digital, there are a growing number of ways to get blue light exposure—from computers, TVs, smartphones, tablets, and other digital gadgets, to name a few. While the amount of blue light these devices emit is minimal compared to that of the sun, the proximity of these devices to the eyes, plus the sheer amount of time spent using them—working on a computer all day, then binge-watching Netflix while scrolling through Instagram before bed—has many eye care professionals concerned about the long-term effects of blue light on the eyes.
Studies show that nearly 59% of Americans experience blue light-related symptoms.
One of the main concerns with blue light exposure is that virtually all visible blue light passes through the eye’s cornea and lens and reaches the retina. Over time, laboratory studies have shown that too much exposure can actually damage the retina’s light-sensitive cells, and potentially lead to macular degeneration. This can lead to permanent vision loss, and understandably, is why eye care providers are concerned about the effects of excess blue light exposure.
Another common issue encountered from blue light exposure is digital eye strain. When you’re looking at screens all day long, your eyes are constantly working in overdrive to combat visual noise. This is because blue light flickers easier and longer than other lower-energy wavelengths. The flickering of blue light casts a glare which decreases the visual contrast, and affects clarity and sharpness, which your eyes work to adapt to. Over the course of the day, this may cause preventable eye strain, headaches, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping.
If you’re like most people, you’re using more than two devices daily for hours at a time. Even if you’re just texting friends, browsing the internet, or watching your favorite show, constant blue light exposure can benefit from protective measures in order to prevent acute troubles, like headaches and fatigue, as well as longer-term issues like macular degeneration.
Aside from cutting out digital devices, which, let’s face it, isn’t going to happen—one of the best ways to protect your eyes from blue light is to invest in a pair of eyeglasses with a blue light filter. These glasses feature lenses that reduce the exposure your eyes have to computer blue light and other devices, reducing the potential for short-term and long-term damage to your eyes.
Filtering blue light with a pair of quality blue light glass can help reduce headaches caused by digital devices.
Blue light filtering glasses can help eliminate visual noise and reduce eye strain caused by blue light, decreasing digital strain, and improving your productivity!
Since blue light has a high energy frequency, it can actually increase alertness in your body. Watching TV, reading an ebook, or scrolling on your phone before bed can delay your body’s release of melatonin, which helps induce sleep. Since blue light blocking glasses can reduce the impact of blue light, you can rest easy!
To start protecting your eyes from the harmful effects of blue light exposure, you can shop Foor Eyes’ inventory of prescription-free blue light glasses, which are high-quality, stylish, and protective! Start protecting your eyes today, and shop our collection at https://www.fooreyes.com/pages/blue-light-glasses.