How Blue Light Affects You

How Blue Light Affects You

Nowadays it is very common to spend a fair amount of time looking at either a computer screen or your phone and you may find that when the evening arrives that you struggle to get to sleep. The reason for this is the blue light emitted by these devices and you should be aware that difficulty getting to sleep is not the only health effect caused by this type of light. Let’s take a closer look at how blue light affects you.

All About Vision notes that light has many different varieties of colour, including red which has less energy and longer wavelengths and blue light, which has more energy and shorter wavelengths. Digital devices are the prime source of blue light such as laptops, televisions and smartphones and in this day in age as we spend so much time exposed to these devices, scientists have become concerned of their effects on the human eye.

Pretty much all blue light travel through the cornea and lens before reaching the retina as the eye is not particularly good at blocking blue light. Over time, if you are exposed to too much blue light, it can damage the cells in the retina, in addition to causing digital eye strain.

Harvard Health note that blue light also has a negative impact on the secretion of melatonin. A few studies have linked the exposure of blue light at night, to various types of cancer caused by decreased levels of melatonin in the body. Worryingly there is also a suggested link to other types of health issues, including obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Research carried out by Harvard suggests that a change in circadian rhythms can lead to unwanted health side effects such as obesity and diabetes. After altering participants circadian rhythms, the study showed that blood sugar levels of participants increased and the hormone leptin which regulates hunger in the body decreased.

What To Do

If you’re concerned about how blue light affects you, there are several measures you can take. You can reduce your exposure to these types of devices, filter blue light by using an app on your computer or phone or wear blue light blocking glasses. Finally you could use dim red lights as your night lights to help you get to sleep.

Image Attribution

By from Japan – Person looking at smartphone in the dark, CC BY-SA 2.0,