Blue light glasses seem to be a trend nowadays, thanks to the social media influencers. That’s because of the ongoing commotion with blue light. Blue light isn’t new, but its prevalence in our lives has increased to a great extent. You wouldn’t believe it, but we’re using a lot of devices that emit blue light. These devices include smartphones, computers, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and LED light bulbs. For this reason, it’s important to know the effects of blue light. It’s also important to know how blue light glasses can help.
What is Blue Light?
What many people don’t know is that blue light occurs in sunlight naturally. At the same time, digital devices with screens and CFL and LED lighting also produce higher levels of blue light.
Blue light is a range of the “visible” light spectrum, with a wavelength of 400 to 495 nm. Because of its short wavelength, it has higher energy. The “visible” spectrum includes wavelength between 380 to 780 nm. Ultraviolet (UV) light and infrared (IR) light fall below this range. The most harmful wavelength lies between 415 to 455 nm.
The Effects of Blue Light
The circadian rhythm is the cycle which determines when our body gets tired and alert. Blue light and this rhythm are connected to each other. Our eyes have developed a unique sense that allow them to detect whenever it’s daylight or not. In addition to that, these sensors respond to blue light most of the time. Whenever there’s a significant level of blue light, the sensors alert our brain that it’s already daytime.
Blue light is beneficial to us during daylight hours. That’s because it boosts reaction times, attention, and mood. According to experts, blue light suppresses the melatonin secretion of the body. Exposure to blue light in the evening continues to alert the brain that it’s daytime. This disrupts the body’s natural rhythm.
Blue light also contributes to digital eye strain. Because it has short and high-energy wavelengths, it’s scattered and less focused. If you look at an electronic device which emits significant levels of blue light, for a long period of time, you’ll have a digital eye strain. This is because of the scattered or unfocused visual which reduces contrast.
What’s more alarming is that blue light can have lasting physical effects on us over time. Since blue light reaches further back to the human eye, it can damage the retina. It’s important for us to avoid prolonged exposure to blue light over time.
Is Blue Light Bad For Us?
We have highlighted the negative effects of blue light, but it’s wrong to say it’s bad in general. Just like how a knife can be both good and bad, blue light can be, too. As a matter of fact, light within the turquoise/blue range between 465 to 495 nm is important for human vision. It’s also important for our general well-being. Our body requires us to be exposed to this range to help regulate our circadian rhythm.
How to Reduce the Effects of Blue Light
We cannot run away from blue light. But there are several things we can do to avoid its harmful levels.
- Dial down the blue wavelength on your devices. If you own a smartphone or a similar device, you can adjust the brightness and the shift of the screen color. This is the easiest way to reduce blue light while using your phone, tablet, or computer. If you cannot find this option on your device, you can download an app like Twilight or Night Shift. These apps present the same feature to help reduce the blue light levels.
- Adjust the brightness of your electronic device before going to bed. Never use your electronic device with a bright screen for at least one hour before you go to bed.
- Expose yourself to blue light during the daytime. It may sound counter-intuitive but being exposed to blue light during the daytime can help reinforce our circadian rhythm. Be equipped with protective wear to safeguard you against the harmful UV rays.
- Make use of blue light glasses. One of the most comfortable ways to reduce harmful levels of light is to use blue light blocking glasses. Using them can help you avoid digital eye strain and reduce the chance of macular degeneration. It can also help increase your vision’s clarity. Be careful not to block turquoise/blue light, though.
What Can Blue Light Glasses Do?
Using blue light glasses has immense benefits besides minimizing eye strain. Below are its other benefits:
- They can help protect your eyes from the harmful light rays.
- Wearing them for at least an hour before sleeping can improve the quality of your sleep.
- They help you feel more rested when you wake up.
- Blue light glasses can help you with your vision while you spend a lot of time looking at your screen.
How to Choose Blue Light Blocking Glasses?
- “Do they really block blue light?” You should ask this question before you make the purchase. See to it that the glasses block a lot of blue light. Otherwise, they will be useless. If your purpose is to improve your sleep, the glasses should be able to block a large proportion of blue light.
- Look for a Blue Reflection. There should be an obvious blue reflection when you look at the lenses. That blue reflection means your eyes are protected.
- Buy orange-colored lenses. Blue light glasses come in different colors. You can find them in colors such as yellow, brown, and even clear colors. Brown and yellow lenses reduce light transmittance but they don’t block as much light as orange glasses.
- Consider a style that looks good all the time. A lot of people don’t mind using nerdy glasses. At the same time, you need to buy something that won’t make you uncomfortable in social situations.
Blue light is everywhere. As long as there’s sunlight, we can never get rid of it. We can, however, avoid its harmful levels by using protective eyewear.