What Are the Effects of Blue Light Exposure?

blue light

Much fuss has been made over the danger of blue light in the past few years. Much of it springs from how modern humans have become glued to their digital device screens. Mobile phones, tablets, and computers all emit blue light. As with many things online, there has not been a shortage of misleading ideas about the subject. It takes effort to get to the bottom of the issue.

So, is blue light bad for you? While there is some truth to the ideas peddled online, there is more to blue light than what is often discussed. It is crucial to understand what blue light is and how it impacts your life.


What Is Blue Light?


The world is made up of things we can see and touch, those we cannot touch but see, and still others we can neither see nor feel. Concrete objects are one thing, but pure electromagnetic waves are of a different order altogether.

Electromagnetic energy travels in waves everywhere. The waves’ energy is expressed by their length. This energy and length relationship determines the electromagnetic waves’ impact on anything standing in their way. The following are the electromagnetic waves as we commonly know them:


  • Infrared

  • Microwaves

  • Radio waves

  • Ultraviolet waves

  • Gamma rays

  • X-rays


Most of these are invisible, but a small band makes up what we know as visible light. The band of visible light varies from 700 nanometers, red light, to 380 nanometers, violet light. It is in this small band that blue light belongs. 


Blue Light Wavelength


The longer the wavelength, the lower the energy—and vice versa. Blue light is a short wavelength, meaning it packs tremendous power. In this regard, it is close to UV light, which is much shorter and more powerful. Blue light is the reason the sky appears blue. It bounces off nitrogen and oxygen particles in the air and creates that blue color. 


Sources of Blue Light


Blue light naturally occurs in almost all natural light and artificial light. While it naturally occurs in sunlight, digital devices expose us to more of it. The primary source of blue light in digital devices is LED technology. 


What Is the Impact of Blue Light?


Blue Light and Your Eyes


Large amounts of blue light exposure can raise your risk of eye disease. Note, however, that more research is needed to ascertain the exact effects of blue light on your eyes. As it stands now, blue light has been linked to phototoxicity and damage to the retina. Using a filter that cuts out about 94% of the blue light significantly lessens the damage.


Blue Light and Sleep


Blue light influences the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. When exposed to blue light, your body does not produce the hormone that tells you to sleep. It’s why sticking with digital devices before bed cuts down your sleeping time.

It is advisable to stop using a digital screen at least two hours before bedtime. Poor sleep and excessive blue light exposure can expose children to other issues like myopia and obesity.


For more on the effects of blue light exposure, visit Eye Care North at our office in Cave Creek, Arizona. Call (480) 781-4446 to book an appointment today.

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