BLUE LIGHT: A CLOSER LOOK

Written by Saria Eid

Christmas


With more and more people opting for blue light lenses in their glasses, we thought we’d explain how they can help. Most of us are aware it’s not a great idea to scroll on our screens late into the night, and that this has something to do with blue light… But what, exactly? Let’s look closer.

So just how careful should we be with our eyes? For guidance, we’ve put together some tips for optimum optics a.k.a. happy eyes.

What is blue light?

Blue light is one of the eight coloured light rays making up the ‘visible light spectrum’ – the colours the eye can see. It combines with red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet to present as white light, or sunlight. While we get most of our blue light from sunlight, it’s also emitted by UV fluorescent or LED lights, as well as the screens on phones, tablets, computers and TVs.

What’s the problem with blue light?

Blue light has shorter wavelengths – close to the wavelengths emitted by the LED lights used in digital devices – and higher energy than the other colours. For this reason, it can cause more damage when absorbed by our body’s cells.

Too much blue light can lead to issues ranging from dry eyes and blurred vision, to head and neck pain. Research has shown some links between prolonged exposure to blue light over time and serious vision problems. As most blue light passes directly through to the retina, it can increase risk of a retinal disease such as macular degeneration.

But blue light also helps to keep us healthy.

By regulating our circadian rhythm (internal body clock) and wake/sleep cycle, blue light helps boost our mood, memory and brain function. That’s why too much blue light, especially later in the evening, isn’t good for us.

Viewing or scrolling into the night plays havoc with bedtime because blue light stimulates the brain, which stops it producing melatonin (the sleep hormone) right when we need it. Which makes it harder for us to fall and stay asleep. Sound familiar?

Be kind to your eyes

Rare is the person in 2021 who doesn’t look at screens every day! Most of us run our lives from them. And don’t our devices love telling us how many minutes and hours we clock up staring at them?

Following the surge in screen time we’ve experienced during the pandemic, it’s worth reconsidering how to value our vision. Adding screen filters to mobile and computer screens can help – and taking regular breaks is vital. Phones down, nos amis!

Try light filtering lenses

We always recommend wearing sunglasses on bright days – and even cloudy ones, if you’re sensitive to glare. Some people find it helps to have blue light filtering lenses in their glasses for computer work, or any digital device use. Chez bloobloom, we offer lenses which filter about 50% of all blue light, and almost 95% of the highest range (up to 420nm).

If you want this kind of protection indoors and out, our light responsive lenses give even more blue light filtration in sunlight. You can order either lens type with any of our glasses for an added fee of £30 for blue light or £100 for light-responsive.

Protect your peepers

So, do we need to worry about ruining our eyes every time we send a message? Non. Problems tend to arise after prolonged use, and research is ongoing to assess the effects of blue light exposure over our lifetimes.

The smart thing to do is look after our eyes as carefully as we do our general wellbeing. We wish you happy, healthy viewing!

Merci.
PHOTOS: bloobloom
WORDS: Eileen MacCallum