Why so Blue?
Behind everything we see, there is light. Wavelengths of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet enter the eye simultaneously. They travel through the ocular structure to land on the retina. Here, these multiple hues combine to create white light. Sunlight is a prime example. We see it as white light, but it’s got the full spectrum of wavelengths. This is more than fascinating trivia; it is important information that can help us safeguard our eyes.
Research has found that every wavelength of light contains a certain amount of energy. One may think that brighter, longer wavelengths such as red and orange, would emit higher energy. Wrong. Blue light has some of the most intense UV energy around. And therein lies crucial data that relates to the increase in certain eye conditions in recent years.
Is Blue Light in Your Environment?
The largest amount of blue light wavelengths is found in natural sunlight. In this form, blue light offers significant health benefits. More on that in a bit. The problem with blue light is that many people are chronically exposed. This includes children, which is concerning because their eyes absorb more blue light than the average adult.
Unnatural sources of blue light include:
- Your smartphone.
- Your computer screen (tablet included).
- Your LED television.
- LED lights (often used in office buildings).
- Compact fluorescent light bulbs.
This heavy exposure matters. Not only does research suggest that children’s eyes are particularly vulnerable to blue light (too much as well as not enough causes developmental problems), but studies have also discovered that exposure to blue light at night is directly related to the widespread issue of insomnia in people of all ages. It is also the culprit of digital eye strain, which leaves the eyes feeling tired and agitated.
About those Health Benefits
Blue light in sunlight naturally aids the body in keeping its circadian rhythm intact. Blue light diminishes at nighttime, which incites melatonin production. In case you didn’t know, melatonin is a sleep hormone. When we use digital devices after the sun has gone down, we disrupt melatonin production, literally setting the stage for tossing and turning.
There are several ways to protect yourself and your family from too much blue light. We’re happy to share them with you! Call Pasadena Eye Associates at (713) 473-5715.