HomeTechnologyNewsBlue light is not as bad as you think

Blue light is not as bad as you think

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Justin Duino / Instruction Geek

You’ve probably heard of the dangers of blue light from digital screens. Apparently, it’s damaging our eyes and disrupting our sleep cycles. Here’s the good news: blue light isn’t that important. Let me explain.

Claims about blue light are everywhere. If he’s bought glasses in the past few years, chances are he’s even been offered blue-blocking lenses. Many of these claims sound perfectly reasonable, which has led many people to believe them. However, the truth is not so simple.

What is blue light?

An illustration of blocked blue light.
Gritsalak Karalak/Shutterstock.com

Blue light is as literal as it sounds: it’s light with a blue hue. Also known as “high energy visible” (HEV) light, it is one of the colors of visible light that can be seen by human eyes.

Colors of light have different wavelengths, and blue light is a short wavelength. The shorter the wavelength, the higher the energy. That means blue light produces higher amounts of energy than other colors, hence the name “high-energy visible.”

A unique feature of blue light is that it cannot be effectively filtered by human eyes. Blue light can easily pass through the eye to the retina, and since digital device screens tend to emit blue light, a large amount enters our eyes every day. That’s where the worries come from.

What do blue light glasses do?

We cannot talk about blue light without talking about “blue light glasses” or “blue blocking glasses”. Blue light blocking products, especially glasses, have become very common in recent years. Let’s talk about what these actually do.

Blue light glasses are incredibly simple. They feature lenses that have been tinted in a way that allows red, orange, yellow, and green light to pass through, but not blue, indigo, and violet. No all blue light is blocked, but they block much more than your eyes can do on their own.

Using blue light glasses has a similar effect to Night Shift or Night Light modes on phones and computers. You see the world with a more yellow/orange tint. The question is, does this really have any benefit?

comfort vs. physiology

Okay, so blue light is real, and blue light glasses really work, in the sense that they filter out some blue light. But blocking blue light is mostly a solution looking for a problem. Let’s talk about the difference between comfort and actual physiological effects.

There’s no question that the bright blue light from a screen can be very harsh on the eyes. If you’ve ever been blinded by your phone screen in the middle of the night, you know exactly what I mean. Dark mode and night light actually make the screens feel more comfortable on our eyes.

That burst of blue light was jarring, but did it cause any physiological damage? Quite a few studies have been done on the effect of blue light on the eyes. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) says there is currently no scientific evidence that blue light damages the eyes or causes strain. A recent study also suggests that blue light glasses do not reduce eyestrain.

What about the dream? Surely blue light affects our sleep cycles and phone screens are the root of all our sleep problems, right? The common claim is that blue light stops our production of melatonin, which is a hormone that helps us sleep. This is technically true, but you may be surprised by the details.

A 2019 study found that looking at screens actually slows melatonin secretion. However, the participants’ melatonin levels returned to normal levels just 15 minutes after they stopped looking at the screens. They didn’t even need fancy glasses.

Like many things, blue light concerns are mostly overblown. While there are some valid use cases for blue light glasses, many people confuse blue light with uncomfortable look with him doing real damage to his eyes and sleep. In general, she just needs to put down his phone and let his body do its thing.

RELATED: Is it bad to sleep next to your phone?


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