“Blue light” is a common phrase, but do you know what it actually is? This article will provide you with basic knowledge about blue light and about the possible consequences of prolonged exposure to it. It’s important knowledge – especially as it helps keep your vision healthy.
Visible light is a form of electromagnetic (EM) radiation. They are used for various purposes in our lives including radio waves, infrared radiations, UV rays, X-rays, and microwaves. Typically, visible light is defined as wavelengths that are visible to the human eyes. Visible light is usually divided into the colors of the rainbow and its many varying tints and shades. Research shows, darker colors blue and violet rays may be harmful to humans when there is prolonged exposure.
In a recent study from the Bank of America, nearly half of US consumers said they couldn’t live without their mobile devices. This is not a shocking statistics because most of us use our cell phones or tablets throughout much of the day. However, constant use of these devices, as well as, a myriad of other gadgets like laptops, computers, and even televisions may not be very good for your eyes. Many health experts claim that these devices emit blue light, a part of the light spectrum which can cause damage to your eyes.
What Is Blue Light?
Blue light is a color in the visible light spectrum which can be seen by the naked eye.
Sunlight contains different colors of the light spectrum including red, orange, yellow, green, and blue. In addition, it also contains a number of different shades under each of these colors, depending on the wavelength and energy of each ray – this is also known as electromagnetic radiation. The combination of this spectrum of colored light is known as white light or sunlight.
There is usually a relationship between the wavelength of light rays and the amount of energy it has. Light rays with longer wavelengths usually contain less energy, and those with shorter wavelengths contain more energy.
The rays found on the red end of the visible light spectrum have long wavelengths. This means they have less energy compared to the rays on the blue and violet end of the spectrum. The electromagnetic rays that are beyond the red end of the visible light spectrum are known as infrared. Correspondingly, the other end of the visible light spectrum is blue light with the shortest wavelength and highest amount of energy. The invisible light beyond this end of the spectrum is known as ultraviolet light.
Are Blue Lights Dangerous?
Prolonged exposure to UV lights can be extremely dangerous for your eyes. UV rays typically have higher energy levels than regular visible light. UV rays can cause a condition known as sunburned eyes or photokeratitis. UV light can easily affect the front of the eye – causing cataracts. Blue light can cause damage to the back of the eye.When your eyes are constantly exposed to UV lights, you may have other potential problems like macular degeneration, or damaged corneas and lenses.
There is increasing incidence of more people than ever before developing cataracts and macular degeneration. According to a study by the National Health Institute in 2014, in the United States, approximately 24 million cataract cases involved people who were 40 years old or older. This is a 19% increase from 2000. Finally, in the year 2050, it is estimated that there will be around 50 million cataract patients nationwide.
This is why it is extremely important to find the right solution for your blue and UV light exposure. Make sure to protect your eyes at all times.
What is Eye Strain?
Eye strain is a common condition that happens when your eyes get tired from intense use, for example, when you are driving long distances or have been staring at a computer screen a long period of time.
Eye Strain can be extremely annoying, but it is usually not serious and goes away once you rest your eyes. Nevertheless, there are some cases when eye strain becomes an underlying symptom of a disease that may require immediate treatment.
There are numerous symptoms of eye strain that you shouldn’t ignore. These can cause decreased productivity, sleep deprivation, and many other problems. Some of the most common symptoms of eye strain are the following:
- Sore or irritated eyes
- Dry or watery eyes
- Difficulty focusing
- Blurred or double vision
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Pain in the neck, shoulders, or back
The best way to reduce eye strain is to change your work habits and adopt better choices.
- Place computer screens at least 20-26 inches away from your eyes and a little below your eye level
- Smudges and dust build-up on your screen will reduce the contrast and encourage your eyes to do more work. Regularly clean your monitor and take off dust and smudges to keep your eyes relaxed.
- Consider using a glare filter over your screen
- Choose screens that tilt and swivel
- Use an adjustable and ergonomic chair
- Change lighting to reduce glare and harsh reflections
- Try the 20-20-20 rule – Every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds
- Take regular breaks from computer work
- Get a comprehensive eye exam
- Use a recommended eyewear for protection
What Are the Best Ways To Protect Your Eyes From Damage?
Using computer glasses will be extremely helpful in reducing the amount of blue light exposure you receive from digital devices and computers. These are special purposes eyeglasses, and it can be used with or without a prescription.
If you have no eye conditions, these eyeglasses will help protect your eyes from developing any. If you have problems like nearsightedness or farsightedness prescription computer glasses will provide additional support.
These glasses are specifically made for high usage computer users like gamers and programmers. There are also numerous brands who offer special anti-reflective coatings which are extremely helpful in reducing the amount of glare. Glare is the major culprit for eye strain.
Some of the best computer eyewear that is proven to help reduce eye strain and blue light exposure are Gunnar Optiks. Heavyglare features the best models and releases from this brand.
Being on the phone or in front of a computer is a daily part of life that for most of us is almost impossible to avoid. You might be on your phone checking emails, replying to text messages, receiving important calls, browsing the internet … For computers and smartphones, one of the best ways to reduce blue light exposure is to use a blue light screen filter.
You can choose among other devices which offer this feature. Check for filters for your smartphones, tablets, and computer screens which can reduce the among of blue light reaching to your eyes. Some of these filters are made with thin tempered glass which is also helpful if you want your device to stay scratch free.
Top Computer Eyewear
Heavyglare offers only the best computer eyewear. Some of the most famous are those made from Gunnar Optiks, an optical brand wholly dedicated to creating eyewear for computer use. Gunnar Optiks uses modern technology to meet the demands of the digital world.
Patented lens technology ensures that your eyes are protected from blue light long periods of time. Gunnar is the number 1 most recommended computer eyewear from opticians and doctors around the world. Gunnar lens tints can easily block high frequency blue light that is emitted from digital devices. In addition, Gunnar lenses are specially made to add contrast and define shapes better.
Gunnar lenses are also known to provide extra support for those who need to be in front of the screen for a long time. It is medically proven to reduce eye strain and fatigue. The company also offers anti-reflective coating on the front and back of the lens to ensure glare is reduced and distractions are eliminated.
Gunnar is known all over the world, and has been the favorite in many Internet-based communities like gaming, entertainment, online workers, and many more. Most of their products feature a yellow tint, which is known to be the best tint color to reduce the effect of blue light to your eyes. Check out some of our most recommended Gunnar Optiks eyewear:
Gunnar Optiks Strike Onyx-Amber – this model is built with a patented lens technology, Strike helps you overpower those endurance sessions in front of a digital screen, giving longevity a new definition.
Gunnar Optiks Vayper Onyx Amber – this model is as light as a feather, with slim temples, interchangeable sockets and a single front piece design. Perfect for anyone needing to spend long hours in front of the computer.
Gunnar Optiks Joule – an eyewear best for those who want to look cool even when they have to spend plenty of time in front of a pc. These come with multi-layer acetate to easily catch different patterns in varying depths. It is also lightweight and easy on the head.
Gunnar Optiks Steelseries Scope Onyx Carbon Amber – features an extended coverage frame and a custom designed carbon socket set. This STEELSERIES SCOPE gaming glasses offer serious gamers a unique style with the reliability of GUNNAR lens technology to protect their eyes.
5 Key Takeaways About Blue Light
There is a good reason why you should be concerned about blue light. If you want to avoid this type of damaging light, here are some important things you may want to know about it.
- You can find blue light almost anywhere.
From your bathroom to your car, you will be able to find blue lights used in almost every part of your life. Sunlight is a major source of blue light. There are also numerous other sources of blue light, for example, your fluorescent lamp and your flat screen tv.
The most notable source of blue light is in the display screens of your computer, laptop, smartphones and other digital devices. Take note – the amount of blue light emitted by these devices is only a fraction of what is released by the sun. However, since these devices are usually used near the eyes and people spend lots of their waking hours using it, this may cause users to develop eye problems overtime.
- Constant exposure to blue light may increase the chances of developing macular degeneration.
Blue light penetrates all the way to the inner lining of the back of the eye (also known as the retina). According to various laboratory studies, constant exposure to blue light will cause damage to the light-sensitive cells of the retina. Over time, this kind of damage will cause macular degeneration and even blindness.
Nevertheless, there is still plenty of ongoing research about what the actual amount of blue light (natural and manmade) eyes can absorb and remain healthy. Still, many eye experts and medical professionals recommend the use of protective eyewear to reduce the chances of damage.
- Blue light is a major contributor of digital eye strain.
Blue light easily scatters, so your eyes cannot easily focus on it compared to other light rays. This means that when you are looking at your mobile device or computer, you are looking at unfocused visual noise. Your eyes work double time because of this which contributes to eye strain in the process.
- Blue Light makes the sky look blue.
The short-wavelength and high-energy light rays of the blue end of visible light can scatter faster than other visible light rays especially when they strike air or water in the atmosphere. This is the reason why you see blue sky when it is not cloudy.
- The naked eye is unable to block blue light.
Your eyes have natural UV blocking capacity that easily blocks dangerous UV rays from damaging your retina. However, they are incapable of blocking blue light as it passes through the cornea, which is why you need extra help from a computer eyewear, and high quality sunglasses.