Blue Light: Is It as Bad as We Perceived it?
You probably heard the blue light scare when people are getting all fussy about the effect of the light on someone’s health. The question is: is it bad as we make it out to be?
Some say it is bad for your health, so you better avoid it. But, is this claim correct? You can answer this question by delving into a bit of scientific background and how it affects your health.
Scientific Background of Blue Light
The light spectrum composes of many colors. These colors are blue, green, yellow, orange, and red, with blue radiating the highest energy.
Each light has a wavelength. This wavelength is one of the reasons you see different colors in the sky throughout the day. Blue has the shortest wavelength, and red has the longest wavelength.
Some refer to the blue spectrum as blue-violet or violet. Most of these light colors are quite visible to the eyes and beyond the blue range is the invisible ultraviolet rays.
The primary source of these light spectrums is the sunlight. Other sources include artificial ones such as a bulb light in your room, digital screens of your gadgets, among others.
Facts about the Blue Spectrum
Do you know that the blue color of the sky is the effect of this light? The sky is violet, but your eyes can’t really see the color violet in the atmosphere.
As a result, you see it more often as blue because of the wavelength. The blue spectrum has a shorter wavelength compared to other colors of light.
This wavelength scatters and travels more quickly than other light spectrums when it hits the air. So, the blue color reaches your eyes more often than the other colors.
The sky seems red, orange, or pink because of the same scattering principle. Indeed, blue is still there, but it has a hard time reaching your vision.
Instead, the red and orange in the spectrum reach your eyes more often than the blue light during sunrise or sunset. This is because of the clouds, air quality during these times of the day.
Benefits of the Light
This light occurs naturally in the environment because of the sun. Interestingly, blue light is essential to your health. How?
One, this light boosts cognitive function by regulating the circadian rhythm. Exposure to the natural light from sunlight helps your body determine the difference between daytime and nighttime.
Two, blue light promotes growth and development, especially to children. The right amount of exposure to this blue spectrum of light is essential in the development of the eyes.
That’s why doctors recommend to parents that they expose their newborn babies or kids to sunlight in the first hours of the morning. This is the time when the sunlight is warm enough, and the spectrum of light is beneficial to kids, even to adults.
Risks of Too Much Exposure or Non-exposure
However, if you expose yourself to this light during the nighttime, this exposure disrupts the cycle, especially if exposure is beyond normal.
Moreover, non-exposure to blue light may affect the development of vision. It also affects your mood and alertness. Since this light is essential in the circadian rhythm, non-exposure may mean that your cycle might be off.
Effects on Your Eyes
Despite its beneficial effect on vision, your eyes can’t filter this light.
Unlike UV rays, this light reaches the retina, and the retina is responsible for converting all lights as neural signals to your brain. So, any damage to it will affect your vision.
Since your eyes can’t block this blue spectrum of light, this light might cause irreparable damage to your eyes if exposure exceeds the normal range.
One danger noted by studies is the increased risk of macular degeneration. Too much exposure to this light causes over-sensitivity on your retina. As a result, you experience some light flashes to your visions.
Sometimes, your eyes have a difficult time adjusting to darkness because they get used to seeing bright light most of the time.
What Can You Do?
Protection and prevention are your best cures. Avoid too much exposure to blue light as much as possible. If you can’t avoid it, wear the appropriate protective gear for your eyes, such as sunglasses, when out on a bright sunny day.
Equip your gadgets with anti-radiation equipment. For example, install tempered glass with anti-radiation features on your smartphones.
If you’re always in front of a computer screen, use anti-radiation glasses. Alternatively, maintain a safe distance from your computer screen. You can decrease the brightness of your computer screen or smartphones.
Every two hours, take the time to break away from your computer. Close or focus your eyes on a distance for a few minutes. A wall is okay if you are confined to a cramped space.
A healthy diet rich in Vitamin A will also help you keep a healthy vision. Vitamin A is an essential mineral to keep your eyes healthy.
Aside from a healthy diet, you should also schedule a routine exam with your eye doctor. This routine exam will help you determine if your eyes, especially your retina, are still in excellent condition.
Once your retina is damaged, you can no longer cure it. Some restorative procedures are available, but these depend on what type of damage are being reversed.
So, is blue light dangerous? The answer is not entirely. As you have read, this light is quite beneficial to some extent with the right amount of exposure and the right time of the day.
It’s essential in the development of your vision as a kid. It’s also noted that exposure to this light at nighttime might disrupt your circadian rhythm, so limit yourself to using gadgets. The best time of exposure to this light is during the day.
However, prolonged exposure is risky and will cause irreversible damage. Lastly, blue light is everywhere, and you see it more clearly on a bright day with a cloudless sky.