Here’s a short summary about – light:
Visible light contains a range of wavelengths and blue light is one of them! It contains the highest energy, which exposes your eyes to more damages as compared to other visible light. We’ll also explore how it affects our sleep, eyes and skin health later on 🙂
Fun fact: Blue light is found everywhere – The Sun, Computers, LED lights! About ⅓ of all visible light is blue light!
So why is this concerning?
Admit it! We are constantly glued to screens, from day to night – for work, learning and entertainment. With prolonged digital device usage, we’re constantly exposed to much more blue light than the natural blue light from the sun.
Our eye is equipped with structures that protect it from some kinds of light. For example, our cornea and lens help protect the light-sensitive retina at the back of your eye from damaging UV rays. However, these structures don’t keep out blue light and we’re heavily exposed to it, which makes us susceptible to blue light damage. Studies have shown that high exposure to blue light may increase our risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
TLDR: Blue light > Retina does not filter blue light > Extended exposure leads to damaged eyes
How does blue light affect us?
Over exposure of blue light may affect our eye health,and also our sleep and skin health. *GASPS* Yes, you’ve read it right! It may cause insomnia, ageing of our skin and retina damage.
1. Blue light and its effect on sleep
Having insomnia? Blue light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that makes us feel sleepy. Exposure to blue light during the day helps to promote concentration and energy. However, using digital devices that produce artificial blue light during the night disrupts our sleeping cycle by “tricking” our brain that it’s still the day, and reducing the production of melatonin. If you’re using your mobile phone right before bedtime, you might be experiencing sleepless nights and insomnia!
2. Blue light and your retina
Exposure to too much blue light may damage your retina, causing permanent vision changes such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is a progressive eye retina disease that may gradually worsen over time. It occurs when the central field of vision becomes affected, resulting in blindness.
*More research needs to be done as there has yet to be a verifiable link between them.
3. Blue light may contribute to digital eye strain
Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome (CVS), is a condition that may occur from the extended use of digital devices. Such symptoms may include eye strain, headaches, dry eyes and blurred vision and may be caused by various reasons such as:
- Poor sitting posture
- Poor lighting, either too dim or too light
- Looking at screens without pausing/blinking
- Distance from the digital devices
Digital eye strain results from the way in which we use our devices, rather than the blue light that they emit. Blue light has no direct correlation to digital eye strain. However, blue light scatters easily and is the first to go out of focus. Poorly focused blue light reduces contrast and may cause digital eye strain since our eyes must work harder to focus. Find out more about digital eye strain.
4. Blue Light and skin health
Do you know that blue light can damage your skin too? As blue light penetrates the entire depth of the skin, it speeds up the ageing process. Overexposure to blue light may cause pigmentation, cell changes, including cell death and shrinkage.
Working 32 hours in front of a computer (that’s 4 workdays!) is equivalent to spending 20 minutes in the midday sun. *oh no – here I am working 5 days a week..*
Managing blue light
There’re many ways to protect your eyes against the effects of blue light. It’s almost impossible to reduce screen time, but there are always simple ways to keep them controlled! Here’s how to up your blue light defense:
1. Phone / Laptop Brightness Functions
Our phones or laptops often have the night mode or dark mode function in build, which changes the background from white to black. When you dim the brightness on your screens, it reduces the light emitted by screens while maintaining the contrast required for readability.
2. Blue Light Screen Protectors / Spectacles
Using blue light screen protectors and spectacles are great ways to block blue light and these are readily available online. They help to filter blue light, potentially reducing digital eye strain and eye discomfort. Keep a pair of blue-light spectacles at your work desk to shield your eyes!
Supplementation can boost the nutritional filter to absorb blue light and support overall eye health. You should look for products that contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin which strengthens your eye’s natural blue light defense. Vitamin C, E and zinc are also great anti-oxidants that protect your eyes from harmful free radical damage.
Lookafter Digital Eyes Vitamin Gummy contains the essential eye nutrients you need in this digital lifestyle. These bite-sized treats work to filter blue light, reduce oxidative stress on your retina and improve overall eye health. Conveniently packed in pouches, lookafter your eyes while continuing your daily screen ritual!
Blue light is not completely bad, it can help to boost alertness and elevates mood. However, excessive exposure to them with long screen hours might be unhealthy – not just to our eyes, but also our skin and sleep cycle.
It is hard to significantly reduce our screen time in this screen age, where we use screens for almost everything. Let’s embrace this age of screens – and nourish our strained eyes with the essential nutrients that they require!