Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Effects of blue light exposure on your eyes and sleep-cycle

Blue light is the visible light that is at the blue end of the color spectrum. Although it is not as energetic as the sun's ultraviolet rays, there is still some concern that extreme exposure to blue light may cause much more cellular damage than any other longer wavelengths of visible light that you see.

Moreover, exposure to blue light can also have a significant impact on your daily sleep-wake cycle. Incandescent light and sunlight contain a wide range of wavelengths. Still, the light emitted for several electronic devices and LEDs tends to have a much narrower range of wavelengths.

This increased blue light exposure from cell phones, tablets, LED lights, and computers have raised serious concerns about the effects it may cause on the sleep-wake cycle and our eyes.

How do we process light?

There are three types of cone receptors in our eye's retina, which are keyed to various sections of the visible spectrum. Some cones are more sensitive to green, some to red, and some to blue. The signal coming from these receptors gets further integrated into our brain to help produce our sense of color.

Blue light tends to have to shortest wavelength, which the human eye can detect. The sun also produces blue light and all the other colors of the spectrum, which means that we are exposed to it naturally daily. Nevertheless, exposure to excess blue light may be harmful to your eyes.

Macular degeneration

It is possible that extreme exposure to blue light can lead to retinal damage, similar to what we see in age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Even though we don't have any direct evidence which supports the claim that blue light can cause macular degeneration - there is some epidemiologic evidence that suggests that greater exposure to such blue light can increase the risk of AMD.

The most critical factors for AMD besides blue light exposure are age, family history of the condition, and cigarette smoking. There is some proof that nutritional factors, obesity, and alcohol use may also raise the risk.

Do blue light glasses help?

Blue light protective glasses are designed specifically to filter or block out any blue light emitted from digital device screens. Blocking any extra blue light from entering your eyes can help you prevent eye strain and even improve your daily sleep cycle.

Digital eye strain glasses come coated with a yellow-tinted material which helps in filtering blue light from digital screens. Unlike regular glasses, you do not need any prescription to buy yourself a pair of these blue light glasses.

After the sun goes down, if you tend to use a lot of computers, smartphones, or any other device, then we suggest you put these glasses on. Since blue light also tells our body when it's time to sleep, extreme exposure will end up keeping you awake throughout the night.

Such problems caused by technology can be prevented easily or controlled using such glasses, but persistent symptoms should never be taken for granted. Everyone needs to have their eyes examined by an ophthalmologist if they wish to avoid any future problems.

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