WHAT IS BLUE LIGHT?

Dr. Jim Martin 07/06/2016

reading-smartphone-in-bed_orig.pngIf you read or watch the news on a regular basis, you might have caught wind of "blue light." Blue light is found within the visible light spectrum. It actually reaches quite deeply into the eye and can cause harm to the retina. Blue light is even connected to the onset of age-related macular degeneration.

Where Does Blue Light Come From?

Blue light enters the eye from a myriad of sources aside from the sun and LED lighting. The average person's eyes absorb blue light from digital devices throughout the day. Examples of digital devices that emit blue light include computer screens, TVs, tablets and smartphones. As time progresses and these digital devices become more ubiquitous, exposure to blue light will continue to increase. There is a growing concern over exposure to this light as it has the potential to cause significant harm to the eyes.

The Distinction Between Artificial Blue Light And Natural Blue Light

Though few people know it, blue light is all around us because the sun also emits it. As short blue wavelengths contact air molecules, blue light is sent in all directions. This is why the sky is blue. Yet there are also artificial sources of blue light emitted by electronic devices, like laptops, LED lights, cell phones, etc.

Dangers Of Blue Light

Exposure to blue light actually adds up across time and can reach the point where damage is caused to the eye's retinal cells. Extensive exposure can even cause retinal cells to die. Numerous studies have shown that exposure to blue light can cause an array of other eye problems too. Chief amongst them is macular degeneration.

Regular exposure to blue light during the night often decreases the body's production of melatonin. This is a critically important hormone that regulates the sleep cycle. Researchers at Harvard University have performed studies that prove the existence of a link between exposure to blue light during the nighttime hours and the development of prostate/breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

Blue Light Also Provides Some Benefits

The human body relies on the sun's creation of blue light to regulate its circadian rhythms. Without such blue light, it would be challenging for the average person to regulate his sleep and wake cycles. It is also worth noting that blue light increases alertness, improves mood, decreases reaction times and generally makes people feel good.

If you are concerned about blue light’s harmful effects, contact Broome Optical about lense options that block blue light.
New Call-to-action