Whether we like it or not, electronic devices like laptops, desktops, and digital screens, in general, have become an integral part of the daily lives of most people. Our amount of interaction with screens has massively increased since the beginning of the pandemic, with many people deferring to video meetings and working from home instead of meeting in person. While this switch might be the environmentally and socially conscious route, the reality is that all this screen time can put unnecessary strain on your eyes. If you’re looking for a way to help reduce this strain and minimize the effects on your body of too much screen usage, then it might be time for you to invest in blue-light-blocking reading glasses.
What is Blue Light?
Before we dive into the impacts that blue light might have on your health, it’s important to understand exactly what blue light is and how you interact with it. Different colors of light have different impacts on the body, and blue light is the part of the visible light spectrum which vibrates within the 380 to the 500-nanometer range. Blue light has the shortest wavelength and highest energy, and the proliferation of electronics with screens has drastically increased our exposure to this source of light. While blue light can be exceedingly beneficial during the daytime, the impacts of blue light when it’s used frequently at night can often be disruptive to the body.
What do Blue Light Glasses Do?
Before diving into all of the negative impacts that blue light may have on your health, it’s important to recognize that there are a number of ways to minimize the effects of blue light on your health. Limiting screen time in the evenings and when it’s dark is a great first step to help reduce any negative effects of high blue light exposure. If limiting screen time isn’t a feasible option for you, however, then investing in some blue-light-blocking reading glasses might be the perfect solution. Blue light glasses have uniquely crafted lenses that will filter blue light from your screens. If you find that you’re experiencing any of the effects described below, including sleep challenges, eye irritation, or dryness, then investing in some blue-light-blocking glasses is a great step to ensure your screen time isn’t negatively impacting your health.
Impacts of Blue Light on Health
While research on blue light and its impacts on health is indeed an emerging field, there are a number of different studies that have been done that highlight the potentially negative impacts that blue light can have. As always, if you’re experiencing any of the challenges listed below, it’s important to speak with your doctor or optometrist about steps you can take to minimize these symptoms.
1. Sleep Interruption
Exposure to light impacts the secretion of melatonin, a hormone in the body that influences a person’s circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are what we call your body’s internal 24-hour clock, the thing which controls your sleep-wake cycle. While everyone’s circadian rhythm is slightly different and unique to themselves, daylight is what keeps our body’s rhythm aligned with the environment. While all types of light can impact our secretion of melatonin, and in turn our sleep cycles, blue light at night is particularly powerful. Researchers from Harvard conducted a study measuring the impacts of exposure to both blue and green light and found that exposure to blue light suppressed melatonin production for twice as long and shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much.
2. Impacts on Retina
Researchers are continuing to explore the long-term impacts that blue light exposure has on the retina, however, there is some evidence that prolonged and intense exposure to blue light might cause permanent impacts to the retina. When viewed normally, blue light passes straight through to the back of your retina, and there has been some research claiming that blue light might increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration, a disease of the retina. As a preventative measure, exploring options like blue-light-blocking reading glasses is a great way to help filter out that blue light and reduce any potential impacts it might have on the retina.
3. Eye Strain
The human eye associates light with daytime, and when we’re constantly viewing screens at night and in the dark, our brain has challenges when it comes to relaxing. Both our mind and our eyes have to work harder to remain focused in the evening, and there has even been research done suggesting that blue light from digital devices can decrease contrast which in turn leads to digital eye strain.
If you’re looking for some support managing long hours in front of the computer along with late-night screen viewing, then it’s time to check out how blue-light-blocking reading glasses might help. Do your research and make sure you’re taking care of your vision for the long haul!