There has been a lot of buzz around blue light. We actually wrote about the health effects of blue light all the way back in 2015. At that time, research on the subject was really just beginning in earnest. Now, as more studies have been done and we’ve become even more immersed in major sources of blue light like digital devices, we felt like it was time to revisit the topic.
First things first, what is blue light? Any time we walk outside or turn on the lights, we’re exposed to a whole bunch of different visible light rays, as well as some invisible. For example, the sun contains the light we can see as well as those invisible ultraviolet rays responsible for sunburn. Depending on the wavelength and energy, light comes in different colors. The visible light spectrum ranges from red on one end to blue on the other. About one-third of this visible light is blue light, technically called high-energy visible (HEV) light. It’s everywhere and the sun is the biggest source of it. The other major source is artificial lighting, particularly from energy-efficient lighting, such as LED and compact fluorescent lights, and electronic screens.
Even among blue light there is variation. Exposure to blue-turquoise light during daylight hours is beneficial. It boosts your mood and cognitive performance, increases alertness and helps with memory. It’s also essential for regulating our sleep-wake cycle. On the other hand, there is blue-violet light. This is the blue light that can be harmful to the outer retina and cause a host of problems, which we’ll get to.
Yes, you do want exposure to healthy blue light during the day. However, exposure to blue-violet light or excessive blue light exposure at night is what causes issues. While our electronic devices account for a much smaller percentage of our blue light exposure than the sun, there is concern because they give off blue-violet light and we often hold them close to our eyes. Too much exposure to blue light from artificial sources can have the following negative impact on our health:
First, switching off the lights and any devices a few hours before bedtime can have a really positive impact on your sleep and health. Beyond that, we’ve seen some amazing blue light blocking lenses come onto the market. At The Spectacle Shoppe, we’re excited about the Essilor Blue Collection. These lenses, which we offer at our Vancouver eyewear store, feature the latest in blue light technology and are designed to protect your eyes from its negative effects. They filter out the harmful blue-violet light but allow the good blue-turquoise light through. If you’re worried about aesthetics, have no fear because the lenses are clear and look just like conventional eyeglass lenses. The company’s Crizal® lens coatings are also amazing for blocking out harmful blue light. Blue light blocking lenses and coatings work for kids, teens and adults. You can also use them on non-prescription glasses if you don’t need vision correction. In fact, computer glasses have become more popular as people aim to decrease digital eyestrain.
If you’re interested in protecting your eyes with blue light blocking lenses, visit the Spectacle Shoppe in Kerrisdale today. We’ll chat with you and help you choose the best lenses for your needs and the perfect frames to go with them!