Effects of Blue Light on Your Eyes
Sunlight is made up of infrared, visible, and ultraviolet lights. These lights contain a various amount of energy depending on their wavelengths. Within the visible spectrum, red rays have long wavelengths and low energy, whereas blue rays have short wavelengths and more energy. Blue rays can be found in various commonly used white light sources, such as fluorescent lights, LED lights, computer screens, tablets, and smartphones. Although blue lights can have some health benefits, recent studies have shown that it can also be harmful to our eyes.
So what are some benefits of blue light? Being exposed to blue light helps with mood elevation, memory, alertness and cognitive function. It also helps regulate our circadian rhythm, setting our natural wake and sleep cycle. If we expose ourselves to a lot of blue light before bed, our brain would release more melatonin, making the body think it’s day time and be more aware and awake. It is recommended to avoid activities involving screen at least one hour before bed.
Early research shows that blue light can penetrate through the eye and reach the retina. Given the high energy in the blue light, it can create free radicals, which can cause potential damage to the macula (area of retina with the best central vision). This can increase one’s risk to age-related macular degeneration. It has also been found in a study that blue lights are more readily absorbed in children’s eyes than adults, putting children at a higher risk if exposed to too much screen time. In addition, blue rays from devices can also decrease contrast, causing digital eye strain.
Talk to our optometrist to learn how to protect you and your family’s eyes. CLICK HERE to book an appointment or call (905) 889-0809.