Sources of blue light
The sun is the main source of blue light, but electronic devices also emit these rays. Due to their repeated and prolonged use, in addition to the short distance between the screens and our eyes, electronic devices are now considered to emit blue light in quantities potentially harmful to our health.
Harmful effects of over-exposure to blue light
The blue light emitted by electronic device screens acts as background noise that reduces contrasts. Staring at lower-contrast images creates eye strain that contributes to ocular fatigue.
All blue light travels through the eyes, all the way to the retina. Laboratory studies have shown that over-exposure to blue light can damage photosensitive cells in the retina, causing lesions similar to those seen in persons with macular degeneration. There is no proof yet that blue light can cause this serious eye disease, but scientists are finding the similarities worrisome.
In addition, blue light plays an important role in our sleep-wake cycle. The blue light we are exposed to during the day is beneficial to maintaining a balanced cycle. However, exposure in the evening can disrupt the cycle and prevent sleep.
Reducing blue light exposure from screens
There are blue light filters available for electronic devices. They are available as a film that is applied to the screen, or as a setting or application that can be activated to alter the screen brightness.
There are also eyeglass lenses treated to reduce blue light exposure. These lenses have almost no effect on light perception, so you won't be seeing everything through a coloured lens!
If you don't need prescription lenses (or if you wear contact lenses), you can buy these types of eyeglasses without a prescription. The technology is also available for prescription lenses.
Using a filter or special lens coating to reduce your exposure to blue light is a good way to protect your eyes from the potential harmful effects of this type of light. If you have problems sleeping, don't forget to turn off all screens at least an hour before bed, which will also allow your brain to enter rest mode!