Blue Light Health Effects: 3 Alarming Consequences

December 15, 2021
3 minutes

Blue Light Health Effects

What is blue light? Blue light is a range of the visible light spectrum from 380 to 500 nm, which can be harmful to overall health. Blue Light has a shorter wavelength and higher energy than other colors of visible light. It's emitted from digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and LED monitors.

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Blue Light and Skin

Blue light and skin: Why is blue light harmful to your skin? When blue light hits the skin, it triggers the release of free radicals, which can damage collagen and elastin. Over time, this can lead to wrinkles, age spots, and other signs of aging. It can also cause dryness and irritation.

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We live in a day and age where technology reigns. It’s incredibly uncommon to find a person without some type of smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch. The average amount of time a person spends looking at their phone is estimated at around 3-4 hours a day, and this number is only increasing. Humans are social beings, and we’ve come up with ways to keep in touch nearly 24/7 with electronic devices and social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram.

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With all this usage of screens, people are getting exposed to a lot more blue light from these devices. Blue light damages the skin by damaging collagen and elastin in our bodies. Collagen and elastin give your skin its elasticity, which is why preventing damage to it is incredibly important if you want healthy, young-looking skin.

What can we do to protect our skin from blue light?

Luckily for us, there’s a simple way that we can reduce the amount of blue light that enters our eyes and skin. Blue light-blocking glasses have been shown to reduce skin damage from UV rays by about 22%, according to a study conducted at two medical centers in Germany. In another report published in Archives of Dermatology, blue-light-blocking glasses were shown to reduce symptoms of computer vision syndrome, including eye fatigue and headaches.

Blue light isn’t just bad for your skin; it’s also known to cause sleep disorders in both adults and children. Blue light inhibits the production of melatonin in the brain, which is known as “the sleep hormone” because it regulates the body’s sleep/wake cycle. Several studies also indicate that exposure to blue light in the evening can suppress melatonin production, delay or reduce sleep time, and lead to poor sleep quality.

Why is blue light harmful?

Blue light can cause damage to the eye because it is so bright. The brightness of the light can cause the pupil to constrict and the lens to flex, which can lead to problems such as blurred vision and eye fatigue. Blue light is also harmful because it activates the macula’s latent heat-sensitive pigment that can trigger retinal damage.

Blue light exposure over time has been found to increase the risk of degenerative eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is one of the leading causes of vision loss in older adults.

How can we protect our eyes from blue light?

Although the effects of blue light on our eyes, such as causing eye strain and fatigue, are well documented; studies have not been conducted to determine whether it negatively affects our eyes over extended periods of time.

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The only way to truly protect your eyes from bright light is to wear sunglasses or protective eyewear that blocks high-energy visible light. Sunglasses that block blue light can protect your eyes from the damaging effects of blue light exposure, but only if they meet certain criteria. Sunglasses should have good optical quality and be certified to provide protection against high-energy visible light. If you're not sure whether your sunglasses meet these requirements, consider replacing them with a pair that does.

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