How damaging can blue light rays be?
With increased screen times during the pandemic, people working from home or students attending online schools are exposed to high-intensity blue light rays for long hours. Though tech screens act as a minor source for blue light compared to the sun, the impact is greater due to the closer proximity from the eyes. When more and more people talk about blue light and during the lockdown, you must have wondered what blue light is and how it affects us. Read on.
What exactly is blue light?
Though we have already read about this in our science lectures at school, here’s a recap:
- The sunlight is made of seven different colors: Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red.
- Each of these seven lights has a different wavelength and energy, with red light moving with the longest wavelength and least energy while violet light moving with the shortest wavelength and highest energy.
- Now, the human eyes cannot detect violet and indigo lights, so they fall into the invisible spectrum. The other five lights, including blue light, make up the visible spectrum.
- This way, blue light becomes that one light that moves with the shortest wavelength and the highest energy in the visible spectrum.
What damages does it cause to our health?
A cataract is an eye condition where the eye lens turns cloudy, resulting in blurry vision. While there can be different reasons behind cataracts, recent studies reveal that blue light can also cause cataracts. As the blue light rays pass through the eyes, they are absorbed by the eye lens to prevent them from reaching the light-sensitive retinal screen. This absorption process results in some derivatives added inside the eye lens contents turning it opaque yellow.
The macula region of the retina is responsible for producing a sharp image of objects. It also stores two carotenoids Lutein and Zeaxanthin, that act as antioxidants and absorbs blue light rays, again, to prevent them from reaching the retina. Over time, the macula degenerates, resulting in the development of Age-Related Macular Degeneration. ARMD is the leading cause of blindness among the older population of the UK.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Digital Eye Strain or DES is another very prevalent eye condition that affects sharp vision among the UK people. It is caused due to prolonged exposure to high-intensity blue light rays from laptops, computers, smartphones, tablets, television, etc. This syndrome can be very irritating and painful with red, dry, sore eyes, frequent back, neck, and forehead pains.
The sleep cycle in the human body is regulated by melatonin, the sleep hormone. Melatonin production is influenced by blue light exposure. We get blue rays from the sun during the day, resulting in decreased melatonin production, making us feel more active and aware. During the night, in the absence of the sun, melatonin production increases, initiating a sleep signal and making us feel dizzy. However, blue rays from artificial sources suppress melatonin production, thus, depriving us of sleep and making us an insomniac.
Preventing blue light damage
Wear blue light glasses
Blue light blocking glasses can effectively block any blue rays falling on the eyes by reflecting them into the air. You can get an anti-blue light coating added to your by your optician.
Limit screen time
Keep your eyes hydrated.
Keeping your eyes lubricated is another great way to avoid blue light damage. Drink more water and use artificial tear drops, if needed. You can also try installing a humidifier beside your desk as a moist environment can help your eyes with hydration.
Eat good food
Want to get rid of your increase your ability to combat severe eye diseases. Foods like carrots, oranges, blueberries, bell peppers, spinach, kale, etc., are cheap and convenient to add to your recipes.? Incorporating nutritious foods rich in elements like Vitamin A, C, E, lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, and carotenoids in your regular diet can
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Meta: How damaging can blue light rays be?
Meta description: Do you feel dry, itchy, painful, tired, and irritated eyes? This might be because of the blue light you are being exposed to from your computer for long hours.