Blue light is a type of visible light characterized by its relatively short wavelength and high energy. It falls within the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation that our eyes can detect, alongside other colors like red, green, and yellow. Visible light spans from about 380 to 750 nanometers (nm) in wavelength, with blue light specifically falling in the range of approximately 380 to 500 nm.
Sunlight is the primary natural source of blue light, and it is also emitted by various artificial light sources such as LED lights, fluorescent lights, computer screens, smartphones, and tablets. Blue light has become more prevalent in our lives due to the widespread use of digital devices and energy-efficient lighting technologies.
However, excessive exposure to blue light, especially during the evening and nighttime, has raised concerns due to its potential effects on sleep patterns and eye health. Blue light exposure, particularly from electronic devices, can interfere with the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. This can lead to sleep disturbances and disruptions in the body’s circadian rhythm, making it harder to fall asleep and get quality rest.
In addition to sleep-related concerns, some studies suggest that prolonged exposure to blue light might contribute to digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome. This can cause symptoms such as eye discomfort, dryness, irritation, and blurry vision, especially after extended periods of screen use.
To mitigate these potential issues, various strategies can be employed, such as reducing screen time before bedtime, using devices with “night mode” settings that reduce blue light emissions during the evening, and using blue light-filtering glasses or screen protectors to reduce the intensity of blue light exposure.
To date, no studies in humans have shown that blue light can damage your vision or your eye health. Dr. Esparaz was recently featured in Reader’s Digest discussing Blue Light – check out her featured article here.
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