Blue light is everywhere, these days! Close to the spectrum of ultraviolet light, shortwave blue light rays are emitted from electronic devices like your computer and smart phone, and those trendy energy-efficient fluorescent light bulbs. But every year more studies emerge, which demonstrate that exposure to blue light – especially at night – can harm your health and your eyes.
What is so bad about blue light?
We are hardwired to wake up when exposed to that bright light, especially of the shortwave spectrum (400-500 nm). It comes in handy if you want to get over jetlag: just open the windows and let sun shine in! On the flip side, if you read e-books on your iPad while trying to fall asleep at night, you may be shooting yourself in the foot. Similarly, those who work the night shift are usually bombarded with blue light from fluorescent lights. Blue light at night disrupts the circadian rhythm – the body’s internal daily clock – and can interfere with the natural sleep/wake cycle.
Blue light exposure and poor sleep routines are associated with a host of negative health implications from decreased productivity at work and school, to depression, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and even blindness.
According to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, high energy blue light can harm the retina and, in particular, the macula which has sensitive pigment that absorbs radiation. While more research needs to be done, studies suggest that blue light exposure is one of the major risk factors for age related macular degeneration, which can lead to serious vision loss and blindness.
That’s a long list of negatives from a seemingly innocuous and ubiquitous form of energy. How can we avoid all that potential damage from blue light?
What can you do to prevent harm from blue light?
Optometrists in Costa Mesa make blue light filters accessible to you. Lenses are available that enhance visibility and reduce your exposure to blue light. Blue light protection helps prevent vision loss by reducing the risk of developing age related macular degeneration and other ocular diseases caused by damaging blue light. Wearing blue light protective lenses at night may preserve your circadian rhythm and avoid melatonin suppression, which can contribute to depression, obesity and cancer.
Our Costa Mesa, CA optical offers blue lens protection. We carry all the top lens manufacturers. Ask our optician about:
- BluTech Lenses
- Recharge by Hoya
- Essilor Provencia
- Optima’s iBluBlock
We provide eyewear services for patients and new clients. You are welcome to check out our blue light eyewear whenever we’re open. No need for an appointment. See you soon, at South Coast Optometry!