What is all the fuss with blue light?

Updated: Nov 23, 2019

Firstly, what is blue light?

Blue light is one of the many visible hues on the light spectrum (See Image below)

(I won't get technical on light itself. If you would like background information on light itself a few good youtube videos explaining it in simple terms are here -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASEdGwpyn58

and here -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I024MxO3AF0 )

Infographic of the electromagnetic spectrum
Infographic of the electromagnetic spectrum

Blue-violet light exists naturally and is all around us. Not all blue light is bad for you in fact humans need some blue-violet light from the sun to regulate mood, sleep/wake cycle (circadian rhythm), alertness and sharpen memory. Man made sources include LED or fluorescent lights, TV’s, computer/gaming screens, smart phones, iPads and other digital devices.

You may have heard of melatonin, it is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain that regulates sleep. Research has found that exposure to blue light suppresses the production of melatonin more than any other type of light. Blue light tricks your body into thinking it’s sunlight which slows down the production of melatonin resulting in insomnia or restless night sleep.

In the last few years we have come to find that too much blue light or exposure to it at the wrong times may have hazardous effects not just with sleep but eye damage and overall health.

Diagram of a smartphones blue light hitting the retina

Our eyes have no natural defence to over exposure of blue-violet light which reaches deeper into your eye than UV rays do, damaging the light sensitive cells in the retina causing increased risk of macular degeneration and permanent vision loss.

In the digital age most people can spend on average 12 hours a day in front of a screen or electronic device causing tired eyes headaches and dry eye. It can take as little as two hours to cause digital eye strain. Blue-violet light and reflections from screens can be reduced using a blue light blocking coating on your lenses.

To recap - while some blue light during the day is beneficial I can comfortably recommend the added protection of blue light coating on optical lenses especially for office workers, students and also gamers to protect eyes from unnatural light sources promoting good eye health and a more restful night sleep.

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