Blue light exposure is a growing phenomenon that may affect many people each day. Eye strain, dry eyes, and other eye issues, as well as sleep problems, are possible blue light exposure symptoms. Blue light blocking technology and light-blocking tools may help to ease these effects.
Read on to learn about blue light blocking lenses and how they may benefit your overall health.
What Is Blue Light?
The visible light spectrum, or the sunlight that you see, is made of different colors of light. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet light combine to become white visible light.
Now, there is a different wavelength and level of energy for each color. Red light has a low level of energy. Blue light, on the opposite end of the spectrum, has a high level of energy. In fact, blue light is closest on the visible light spectrum to UV light, which may be harmful in large doses.1
The largest source of blue light is sunlight. Other sources include:
- Smartphone and tablet screens
- Computer monitors
- Fluorescent light and compact fluorescent light bulbs
- LED light2
How Might Blue Light Exposure Affect You?
In healthy amounts, blue light provides several benefits. It regulates the body’s circadian rhythm, which is what controls the cycles of sleep and wakefulness. It may also positively affect mood and alertness levels. Blue light exposure in children may also decrease the likelihood of nearsightedness.3
However, too much exposure to blue light might have a negative effect on your health. While sunlight is the largest provider of blue light, it’s the blue light from screens that may be cause for concern.
This is due to the close proximity of the screen to our eyes and the duration of time we spend looking at them. In addition, we spend a lot of time looking at blue light AFTER we should (after the sun goes down).
Blue Light Exposure: Sleep And Health
As noted above, blue light can stimulate the mind and keep you alert. However, too much blue light exposure from screens may give you trouble as you try to sleep.
According to a study, evening blue light exposure can delay your circadian rhythm and circadian clock. It may also suppress your melatonin levels, which may affect the way you sleep, the quality of your sleep, and how easily you are able to get to sleep.4
Melatonin And Sleep
Melatonin is a hormone that helps to regulate your body’s sleep onset. Melatonin production typically begins at night, when darkness falls. Melatonin production will typically not begin until the lights around you are dim.5 Blue light from screens or and other artificial lights, may inhibit or prevent melatonin production.6
The Benefits Of Blue Light Glasses
So, can blue light blocking lenses help you to avoid the effects of overexposure to blue light? Read on to learn about some specific benefits of blue light glasses.
Can Blue Light-Blocking Lenses Help You Sleep?
In a word, yes. A study has shown that blue light blocking glasses worn at least three hours before sleep resulted in a higher quality of sleep.7
Can Blue Light-Blocking Lenses Reduce Eye Strain And Help Prevent Other Serious Eye Issues?
Blue light filters, such as blue light blocking glasses, have been shown to help reduce eye strain symptoms from prolonged digital screen time.8 While light-blocking lenses may decrease these eye strain symptoms, you may also want to discuss other options with your eye doctor.
Some other options to alleviate eye strain can include increasing text size on your devices and viewing screens from the proper arm’s distance. You may also want to reduce screen glare from overhead lights and take plenty of breaks from your digital screen viewing. You can even install a digital blue light filter on many phones.9,10
Your Eye Health: See Your Doctor Or Optometrist Regularly
The benefits of blue light glasses may be able to help support your eye health and sleep quality. This is especially true for those who have a job that requires them to be in front of a computer most of the day or for those who are used to using electronic devices right before bed.
Talk to your optometrist if you have any concerns about the health of your eyes. They may be able to give further recommendations on how to best avoid overexposure to blue light and support your eye health.
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