Blue light from electronic devices: risks and solutions

Blue light from electronic devices: risks and solutions

Electronic devices, such as smartphones, pc and tablets emit a blue light that over time can cause eye problems. It’s therefore important to protect your sight already from a young age, in order to avoid an excessive eye strain. What is eye strain? It occurs when someone’s eyes turn really tired because of intense use.

What is blue light?

Blue light is a color in the "visible light spectrum" that the human eye can see. In fact, visible light is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum which we see in terms of the following colours:

  • violet
  • indigo
  • blue
  • green
  • yellow
  • orange 

And what is the electromagnetic spectrum? It’s the set of color wavelengths, which can be divided in different categories: gamma rays, x-rays, ultraviolet rays (UV), visible light, infrared light, and radio waves.

 

Every wavelength is represented by a color and emits energy. A shorter wavelength will have a higher amount of energy. Blue light has an extremely short wavelength, which means that it releases a lot of energy. This extreme energy can cause damage to your eyes after a long exposure without protections. That’s why we need to take care of our sight, even from a really young age.

Where can we find blue light?

Blue light can be found in many aspects of our daily life. We already said that electronic digital devices contain it, but they’re not the only ones. Actually, we can divide the sources of blue light into two big categories:

  1. Natural blue light. Why do you think the sky is blue? Well, of course it’s because of the blue light. If you think about it, the sun is red but on our planet the sunlight is seen with a blue or light blue color. That’s because when sunlight travels through the atmosphere, blue wavelengths collide with air molecules resulting in the blue light of the sky. Natural blue light is very useful to: regulate your sleep and wake cycle, elevate moods, raise the feeling of well being, help memory and cognitive function, augment alertness and boost reaction times.

 

  1. Artificial blue light. Other than from the sun, blue light is emitted by electronic devices, such as tablets, smartphones, personal computers and TVs. Also fluorescent bulbs and LED lights are artificial sources of blue light. Artificial blue light can cause a disruption in the natural sleep and wake cycle, as well as eye strain and fatigue overtime.

How to protect yourself from blue light

Many of us actually spend the majority of our daily hours looking at the screen of an electronic digital device. Just consider that, according to some studies, 60% of people spend over 6 hours every day in front of a digital screen.If you’re part of this group, an handy way to protect your eyes can be by using blue light filters. You can find blue light filters for smartphones, tablets, and computer screens in any electronic shop. Sometimes there’s even a setting already built inside the device.

 What do blue light filters do? They reduce the quantity of blue light emitted from electronic devices that reach your eyes without worsening the screen visibility. And there’s more to it, because some of them even protect your screen from scratches with their structure of thin tempered glass.

 

Another useful tool can be blue light-blocking glasses. They can reduce your blue light exposure from digital devices. You don’t need any eyeglass prescription to buy them so you can use them even if you don’t have sight issues. If you do have them though, these special glasses can be adjusted in order to optimize your vision specifically for the distance from which you use your devices. Of course, this kind of eyewear works exclusively to see objects within arm’s length. Therefore, it shouldn’t be used for example to drive.

 

Always talking about eyeglasses, you may want to try photochromic lenses. They provide protection both from UV and blue light, indoors and outside. In addition to that, they automatically get darker in response to UV rays outdoors in order to make your eyes feel more comfortable.

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