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Blue Light Debunked

Prepare by Nutritionist Chen Yin


With COVID-19 hitting us, many of us working from home during the pandemic which increases our screen time. As you may have commonly heard, staring at screens for extended periods of time is not good for our eyes. A word that comes up a lot with the topics of screen time and eye health is blue light. There are many misconceptions about blue light, and we are here to clear those myths.

 

Myth 1: Blue light comes only from screens

Blue light is just one of the colours in the visible light portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. The visible light spectrum consists of multiple colours that form the white light you see whenever you look at the sun, which is the main source of blue light.

 

Other sources of blue light can be fluorescent and LED light bulbs which are of concern these days as they are used everywhere in our electronic devices. Since we are positioned so near to the device screens and over extended periods of time, it is no wonder many are concerned about the repercussions these artificially produced blue light have on us and our eyes.

 

Myth 2: All blue light is harmful

As mentioned before, blue light does come naturally in nature, so no, not all blue light is bad. However, prolonged periods of exposure to it are definitely not good. Large amounts of light rays with much higher energy, such as blue or violet light, could boost the risk of eye diseases. Moderation is key, and it is important to note that blue light is not necessarily bad but an excess of it could have negative effects.

 

Myth 3: Blue light does not affect my sleep 

Many of us are staring at the screen for hours before bed and as we stare for hours at our screens, the blue light emitted from them are actually messing with our sleep cycle. Our bodies are typically wired to absorb a set number of daylight hours, thus through the electronic devices’ blue light exposure, it is signalling to our brain to wake up when it is supposed to be winding down. Many experts recommend not using our digital devices at least 3 hours prior to bedtime to avoid affecting our sleep quality and messing with our sleep cycle.

 

Myth 4: I need to get blue light glasses and filters

With all the commotion about blue light, many companies have started rolling out special blue light filters for their electronic devices or glasses specifically to help with blue light exposure. However, there is no actual proof that blue light glasses or screen filters reduce eye strain.


A better and more effective practice to reduce eye strain is the 20-20-20 rule. It means for every 20 minutes you should stare about 20 feet ahead for 20 seconds. Another way is to take eye supplements which contain lutein and carotenoid antioxidants to enhance general eye health and strengthen blood vessels and the retinal capillary bed.

 

References

  1. Blue light. Eyesafe®. (2021, July 13). Retrieved December 8, 2021, from https://eyesafe.com/bluelight/.
  2. David Ramsey, M. D. (2019, May 1). Will blue light from electronic devices increase my risk of macular degeneration and blindness? Harvard Health. Retrieved December 8, 2021, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/will-blue-light-from-electronic-devices-increase-my-risk-of-macular-degeneration-and-blindness-2019040816365.
  3. Edmund Torr | Updated Aug 9, Commerce gear goods guides and gear reviews, Commerce, Gear, Goods, Gear, G. A., & Reviews. (2021, August 9). Do blue light glasses really work? Popular Science. Retrieved December 8, 2021, from https://www.popsci.com/reviews/best-blue-light-glasses/.
  4. Helmer, J. (n.d.). How does blue light affect you? WebMD. Retrieved December 8, 2021, from https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/blue-light-health.
  5. Kenzie. (2020, January 21). Facts and myths about blue light debunked. BluTech Lenses. Retrieved December 8, 2021, from https://blutechlenses.com/blog/facts-and-myths-about-blue-light-debunked/.
  6. What is macular degeneration? - AMDF. American Macular Degeneration Foundation. (2017, December 20). Retrieved December 8, 2021, from https://www.macular.org/what-macular-degeneration.

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