Blue Light: The Good, the Bad, and What You Should Do About It
Blue Light is a Part of our Lives Now
We live in a much different age than the one our parents did. Thanks to advancements in technology, most of us spend a large portion of our days and nights in front of a screen. We stare at a computer for work, we are checking our phones every few minutes, and to relax, most of us head home and watch television. And while this shift certainly does come with innumerable benefits, it has sparked some serious debate, and its centre is blue light.
Most people think that all blue light is manmade and comes from electronic devices, however, in this they would be wrong. Blue light is naturally occurring, and the largest source is actually the sun. But as we are sure as most of you know by now, it isn’t the only source. Other sources of blue light include:
- Fluorescent light
- CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs
- LED televisions and lights
- Smartphones and tablets
- Computer monitors
What Are The Benefits of Blue Light?
Although it has gotten a bad rap in the news as of late, a certain level of blue light is needed to maintain optimal health:
- Blue light helps to increase a person's state of awareness, improves memory, raise cognitive function and elevate mood.
- Blue light helps to regulate our circadian rhythm, which is the body's natural wake/sleep cycle. Exposure during the day helps to keep a person awake and alert.
- Exposure to blue light can help the body to release more serotonin, also known as the “happy hormone,” as well as cortisol, the “stress hormone.” Fortunately, both of these serve to keep you more awake and active throughout your day.
What Are The Damaging Effects Of Blue Light?
Science has proven that overexposure to too much light in either the ultraviolet and blue-violet bands can cause permanent damage to the eye. However, in our modern age, that concern has elevated significantly than from just sun exposure. Couple this with the fact that our eyes aren’t naturally very good at blocking blue light, you begin to see where the problem lays.
Too much exposure to blue light can cause what is known as digital eye strain. Like the name suggests, it is caused by focusing too much on screens and digital devices, which causes our eyes to become fatigued, dry and uncomfortable. This problem is worse when exposure to blue light happens in the evening hours, for it can easily throw off the body’s natural rhythm, causing it to be more awake and alert when it should be preparing to rest.