When you hear the words “blue light”, you’re probably thinking of blue light as something negative.
Blue light often conjures up thoughts of something that’s super harmful and needs to be avoided as much as possible.
Well, we’re here to tell you that blue light is a lot more complicated than that. Here are three facts about the blue light that everyone should know.
Blue light is everywhere.
Contrary to what you might believe or have heard, blue light doesn’t just come from the screens of devices like your television, computer or laptop, smartphone, or tablet.
It certainly does come from these devices;
however, it comes from a range of other sources too including LED lights and fluorescent lights.
And, you might not be aware that the biggest source of blue light is actually the sun.
That’s right – the sun is our main source of blue light, meaning we’re constantly exposed to blue light whether we’re inside working on our computers and scrolling through social media on our phones or taking a walk outside during the day.
You might remember learning during your school days that sunlight consists of a huge range of different rays including many shades of red, orange, green, yellow and blue light.
Altogether, this spectrum of colored light rays creates “white light”, or, simply put, sunlight.
And – a bonus fun fact for you – blue light rays, which are the short-wavelength, high-energy light rays on the visible light spectrum scatter easily when they hit air and water molecules. This is the reason the sky looks blue.
Blue light can actually be good for you.
Research has shown that high-energy visible light can actually help you and your overall health in a number of ways.
For instance, blue light can enhance alertness, aid with memory and cognitive function, and even improve your mood.
It’s also very important for regulating your circadian rhythm.
Circadian rhythm relates to your body’s natural sleep cycle, so getting the right exposure to blue light during daytime hours means you’ll be sleeping better during nighttime hours.
Another indicator of blue light is vital for our overall wellbeing is the fact that light therapy is often a key treatment for people suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
SAD is a type of depression related to changes in the seasons, particularly cooler seasons like winter.
It is thought to be caused by a lack of sunlight during the shorter days and a subsequent reduction in both melatonin – the hormone that regulates sleep – and serotonin, which is a hormone that also affects our sleep as well as our mood and appetite.
As such, patients are often treated with light sources which emit bright white light containing a significant amount of blue light rays. This suggests that blue light is also beneficial for our mental wellbeing too.
So then why do we have an entire business based on blocking blue light? That brings us to fact number three.
The human eye is not very good at blocking out blue light – and there’s such a thing as too much.
Whilst natural blue light isn’t necessarily harmful, frequent use of digital devices that constantly emit blue light – paired with the blue light we’re already exposed to from the sun – can be too much for our bodies.
The anterior structures of our eyes – i.e. the cornea and the lens – are generally very good at blocking out UV rays. however, they’re not as good at blocking out blue light.
Over-exposure to blue light can cause, amongst other things, digital eye strain , which leads to headaches, nausea, blurred vision, and trouble sleeping.
Further, whilst exposure to blue light during the day can help with our circadian rhythm and promote a good night’s sleep, too much blue light especially at nighttime can have the opposite effect.
Using devices too close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep cycle, causing sleeping issues and subsequent fatigue during the day.
This is why you’ve probably heard time and again not to use your phone or computer or watch television for at least half an hour before going to bed.
Additionally, exposure to too much blue light can also cause other, more serious problems, such as an increased risk of macular degeneration.
This is because blue light can penetrate all the way through to your retina, damaging light-sensitive cells and causing permanent vision loss.
For this same reason, if you’ve recently had cataract surgery, blue light can be particularly harmful.
So how do we make sure we’re getting enough blue light but not too much blue light especially in this age of non-stop screen time?
The answer is simple, easy, and affordable: blue light blocking glasses.
Good quality blue light glasses act as a shield against blue light, protecting your eyes no matter how many hours you spend staring at screens each day.
At ANRRI we sell a huge range of stylish blue light glasses that will not only effectively filter out blue light rays to improve your vision and general eye health but ensure you look good doing it.