Most people have read about the harmful effects of blue light rays on our eyes, health and general wellbeing. What many of us do not realize is that we can actually take steps to prevent this from becoming a problem.
One of these steps is investing in a good quality pair of blue light blocking glasses. Ocushield has a range of products designed to protect you from blue light and their most popular product is their blue light blocking glasses.
So, what exactly are blue light rays and why are they so harmful? Do they have an impact on our short and long-term health and is there anything that can be done about it? This article will discuss everything you need to know!
What is blue light and why is it harmful?
Blue light rays occur on the end of the light spectrum and, by their very nature, have shorter wavelengths and a large amount of energy.
These characteristics make them damaging to our eyes and can also negatively impact our general health and wellbeing.
Unfortunately, since we are spending more and more time in front of digital screens these days (think laptops, desktops, tablets, smartphones and TVs), we are increasing our exposure to these dangerous blue light rays and putting ourselves at risk for health issues as a result.
Recent surveys conducted have revealed that not only do most people spend upwards of 8 hours every day working in front of a computer screen, but they also tend to turn to their screens when they are trying to relax and unwind.
The short-term effects of blue light.
The effects of blue light on our health is not all hype: scientific research has proven that it can cause a great number of conditions.
In the short term, blue light can have a serious impact on our health.
Digital eye strain is the most common condition caused by blue light. Symptoms of digital eye strain include, red eyes, dry and strained eyes, blurry vision, itchy and irritated eyes, shoulder pain, neck pain, headaches and migraines.
Migraines can be particularly disabling as they often require medication and spending time in a darkened room. In these busy and stressful times, we do not have the time to take a few hours off to take care of a migraine, making it even more important to try avoid these as much as possible.
To mitigate the effects of digital eye strain, it is recommended that you take regular breaks from your screen and try and wear blue light blocking glasses whenever you can.
Another worrying short-term health effect from blue light is its effect on the human circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is our sleep/wake cycle and it is regulated by the hormone, melatonin.
Excessive exposure to blue light causes the body to decrease (or, in some cases, stop) its production of melatonin. Since melatonin tells the body when it is time for bed and makes us feel sleepy, relaxed, calm and tired, a deficiency in this important hormone can mean a lack of sleep or poor quality sleep.
As we all know, when we do not sleep well the night before, the next day does not see us performing optimally. We feel fatigued, unable to concentrate properly and we do not work as well as we could.
Lack of sleep can also cause moodiness, depression and anxiety so it is crucial to prevent this by wearing blue light blocking glasses or reducing our screen time.
The long-term effects of blue light.
While excessive exposure to blue light has only been a concept for the past decade and more research is required, what scientists and medical professionals do know at this stage is that it can affect your long-term health.
Medical professionals are becoming increasingly concerned about how much time most people are now spending in front of digital screens. Not only is excessive screen time anti-social and unnatural, but it can also affect our relationships, social interaction and mental health over the long term.
Not physically interacting with others enough can leave us feeling depressed, lonely, suicidal and more.
If you consider the short-term health effects of blue light and think about their impact over many years, this can have a serious impact. For instance, chronic digital eye strain can mean a loss of good quality vision.
Of course, the most worrying condition as a result of too much blue light is the increased risk of macular degeneration, especially in older patients.
Blue light will penetrate all the way through to the retina (which is the back of the eye’s sensitive inner lining. This can cause damage to the retinal cells as they are very sensitive to light, most notably light that has a short wavelength and a lot of energy.
Over a long period of time, this can cause macular degeneration and, if left unchecked or not treated properly, permanent vision loss or blindness.
The evidence is therefore very clear: if you want to avoid losing your vision to macular degeneration later in life, you need to take steps now to protect your eyes. Blue light blocking glasses can help a great deal with this, as can trying to decrease the amount of time spent in front of digital screens.