Our Optometrist will explain how blue light can affect your eyes and vision. You may not realize all the sources of blue light and other harmful light we are exposed too everyday. Make sure you always protect your eyes.
Blue Light : Bad And Good
The spectrum of light is more complex than you may think. We are exposed to all the parts of the light spectrum. Turning on a light, looking at your phone or other digital devices, walking outside in the sunlight, exposes us to visible and invisible light rays. The visible light we are exposed too contains such colors as red, yellow, green, blue and purple. This is the white light or sunlight. The invisible part of the light spectrum is ultraviolet or uv radiation. These are the rays that can cause us to tan and sunburn. Blue light is part of the visible light spectrum. The energy levels are different depending the wavelength of each color. The longer the wavelength the less energy it will emit. Red light is a longer wavelength and has less energy. Thus the shorter the wavelength of light the more energy it will have. Blue light has more energy and has a shorter wavelength. The shorter the wavelength the more it will scatter light.
Beyond the red or longer wavelength of light is called infrared. This is what you probably have seen in a restaurant kitchen keeping your food warm. We see it as red because it also emits red wavelengths. The other end of the visible light spectrum is the blue light. These are the shortest wavelengths that contain the highest energy levels. This is also called blue violet. Beyond that are the ultra violet or uv light which is invisible.
Blue Light Effects On The Retina
Sunlight is the main source of blue light. Again these are the shortest wavelengths and the highest energy. So being outside exposes us to the most blue light. We also have man-made sources of blue light. Examples of these are computer screens, televisions and inside lighting. The displays of our computers, phones and other digital devices emit huge amounts of blue light. The problem with our computer , phones and tablets displays are they are so close to our eyes. Being closer to your eye means that you will absorb more of this type of light. This adds even more concern over the amount we are subjected too and the long-term effects.
The eye is not very good at blocking blue light from our eyes. Virtually all blue light will pass thru to the back of our eye or the retina. The eye is pretty good at blocking the uv light from passing thru to the back of the eye, but not the shorter wavelengths.
The problem is that it will increase the chance of causing macular degeneration. This type of light damages the sensitive retina cells that allow us to see clearly. Exposure to our use of our digital devices may cause these effects later in life. Our Optometrist can determine if you have any damage to your retina during an eye examination.
Blue Light May Cause Digital Eye Strain
Blue light is a shorter wavelength which scatters much easier than longer wavelengths. This type of light is harder to focus on. Devices which emit shorter waves create more distortion and thus contribute to digital eye strain. So applying a filter or a good anti reflective coating on your lenses will reduce the blue light noise and should reduce digital eye strain.
Aside from this if you have had cataract surgery and have an artificial lens implant, you need to protect your eyes even more. Our natural lens in our eye helps to reduce the amount of uv radiation to the back of the eye. The artificial lens implants will not block the harmful rays of light.
The Healthy Blue Light
Blue light is good for our memory and our mood. It also has been known to reduce the effects of seasonal affective disorder. This occurs during the winters months of low light levels of sunlight. Too much blue light is not good but we do need some of this type of light.
In conclusion, please protect your eyes from the sunlight and our digital devices. Use sunglasses especially during bright sunny summer and winter days. Also wear protective eyewear and make sure to get a high quality anti reflective coating applied to your prescription eyeglasses. Please consult with our Opticians for the best protection for your eyes. Make sure you have an eye examination once a year.
If you have any questions please feel free to call our office or visit Eye Mechanix.com to schedule an eye examination.
Schedule an Eye Exam with our Optometrist in Lincoln Park for more information on Blue Light!