Excess blue light – facts and myths

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Blue light, or more precisely, excess blue light, is a topic that has been raised more and more often lately. Unfortunately, but in addition to factual information, there are also false ones, so today we want to dispel all doubts. Find out what effect blue light has on health, whether it reduces the quality of sleep and how to protect yourself from it?

What is blue light?

Blue light is not a separate entity that can somehow be eliminated from our world. First of all, it is found in sunlight; moreover, it is also emitted by LEDs. So why has it only now begun to look at this issue? Because we are more aware than our ancestors, moreover, more often susceptible to LEDs and sunlight. We take frequent baths in the summer, especially in skimpy clothing, which was not the case just a few decades ago.

It is worth noting that blue light is an umbrella term, there is a very fine line between it and beneficial blue-turquoise light. That is why it is so difficult to eliminate the harmful one from our lives. Unfortunately, this can lead to age-related macular degeneration and even blindness due to damage to the retina. Of course, such situations are really rare and mostly occur in people who have been overexposed to harmful blue-violet light. 

Blue light and phone and laptop screens

In the old days, everyone went to bed when the sun went down and woke up when it rose. At the same time, they were less exposed to harmful blue-violet light. Today, with devices such as phones and laptops, as well as televisions, we artificially extend our day. We use digital displays late into the night, making us more vulnerable to the side effects of time spent in this way. However, it is still worth noting that the sun is the main “carrier” of blue-violet light. 

It is estimated that it accounts for up to 30% of daylight, when the solar luminance of the sky reaches 5000 units per square meter. For comparison, we can take the screen of a monitor hooked up to a computer, which emits 250 to 300 units per square meter. Here the question arises, so why do we think that blue-violet light is harmful and not worth spending too much time in front of a screen? Considering our exposure to this light during the day, as well as in the evening, when we should no longer theoretically be at risk of health problems, we can safely say that it’s simply a matter of spending too much time in front of the light.

How can you protect your eyesight from blue light?

One of the best ways to protect your eyesight from blue light is, of course, to avoid exposure. This isn’t always possible when we spend all day in front of a computer at work or follow instructions outdoors. Then, however, it is worth reaching for lenses with a system of protection against blue-violet light and additionally UV radiation. Such glasses will take care of your eyesight both in front of a computer or other screen and outdoors. Good monitor positioning, phone and laptop apps for eye protection or special filters for monitors will also make a difference.

main photo: unsplash.com/Sander Weeteling

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