16 April, 2021
How does blue light affect our eyes?
Currently most of us spend a large amount of hours a day in front of screens, whether it is on the computer, the Tablet, the mobile phone… For this reason, we have begun to worry about the possible consequences that this may have in the long term on our health and our vision. Since there is a lot of talk about the effects that high exposure to blue light can have, at L’Atelier Óptica, we want to explain what it is and how it can affect you.
What is blue light?
The visible spectrum is made of the light that can be perceived by the human eye. It is made up of rays of all different colors, blue amongst them. Specifically, blue light represents around 25% of white light or visible light and is emitted by screens, LED lights, fluorescent light bulbs and the Sun. It is the most energetic part of the visible spectrum and, therefore, the most dangerous part of it.
How can it affect us?
Blue light can be subdivided into two types, each one with different effects on our visual system:
- Blue-turquoise light is essential for our body, as it is in charge of regulating circadian rhythms or sleep/wake rhythms. When we are exposed to this type of light, our body inhibits the synthesis of melatonin (the sleep hormone), since it considers it is daytime and we have to stay awake. For this reason, if we expose ourselves to the blue light of the screens just before going to sleep, we can suffer insomnia.
- Blue-violet light is the closest to ultraviolet light in the electromagnetic spectrum. There are studies that suggest that it can cause damage to the retina, associating it with pathologies such as Age-Associated Macular Degeneration, although this has not yet been proven, so we cannot affirm it. What has been confirmed is that this light is related to the Visual Computer Syndrome, which is the visual fatigue or stress that appears when the eyes spend too many hours in front of a screen. It causes eye fatigue, dryness, red eyes and decreased frequency of blinking, among other symptoms, and is very common in our society.
Tips to protect yourself from blue light.
Currently there are filters that reduce the transmission of this type of light in different formats:
- Glasses with an specific anti-reflective treatment to eliminate the harmful part of blue light.
- Filters that are placed in front of the electronic devices to prevent this light from getting to our eyes.
- Contact lenses with selective blue light filters.
It’s also important to try to reduce the time we use the screens, also applying the 20/20/20 rule, which is that every 20 minutes we take a 20-second break to look away from the screen at minimum distance of 20 feet (equivalent to 6 meters). Likewise, we should have in mind that the closer we are to the source, the greater the amount of blue light we will receive, so it’s important that we try not to get too close to the screens.
When it comes to filters, regardless of the way they are presented, we should remember that, by reflecting a part of the blue light, they can alter our perception of colors, making us see them with warmer tones. However, today there are selective filters that help reduce exposure to this type of light without altering colors, allowing us to maintain a totally natural vision. Also, the filters that are placed on the lenses, can have some residual color depending on the quality of them.
At L’Atelier Óptica we like to offer personalized solutions tailored to each patient. For this reason, we invite you to tell us about your particular circumstances, we will be happy to advise you.
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