As technology has developed and become more accessible to the general population people spend more time than ever on various devices like smartphones scrolling on social media or spend the majority of their day on laptops for their job or for school and university work. Screens have become a big part of society as we know it and many people would struggle without their devices. This last year in particular people’s daily screen times have increased more than ever because of the lockdowns in response to the coronavirus, so people have had much more free time and spent a lot of this extra time watching more YouTube and Netflix or learning new skills online. When technology started to develop it wasn’t known that blue light could have a negative impact on us but as people have become much more health aware they’ve realized that this is the case. If you’re unsure what blue light is then keep reading to find out what it is and how it affects us.
What is blue light?
Blue light is one of the seven light colors visible to the human eye, you’ll likely have been taught the acronym ROYGBIV as a child to remember all the colors that make the white light you see from the sun. Blue light is the main source of light within the white light from the sun and it is also emitted from artificial fluorescent lights. They’re different colors because they have different wavelengths and energy levels, blue light has the shortest wavelength and the highest energy level out of all of the colors, the wavelength for blue light is between 410 and 450 nanometres.
How does blue light affect us?
Blue light affects us in many ways. One way that has been discovered that blue lights affect us is it affects our eyes, blue light that comes from the sun increases your risk of developing eye disease and it is thought that too much blue light from screens can have a similar effect, it’s thought about half the people that use computers often develop a syndrome that causes issues with your eyes. Some of the symptoms of this syndrome are dry eyes, irritation, and sometimes blurred vision, I suffered from this and I found blue light glasses australia really helped me find the right pair to block out some of the blue light and helped my eyes to recover from this syndrome. Blue light also can negatively impact your sleep cycle so using your phone right before bed is highly linked to having a poor nights sleep as it wakes your brain up when your body clock is telling your brain to wind down if you need to use your devices before you sleep then blue light glasses also help to keep your sleep schedule in order.
One of the biggest dangers of blue light is that it could potentially increase your risk of developing various cancers including prostate cancer and breast cancer but more research needs to be done to confirm this. Finally, blue light at night time has been shown in animal studies to increase depressive symptoms and this may also be the case in humans. However, daytime blue light can be beneficial for mental health, it’s used to help treat seasonal affective disorder and is successful in many cases. If you have children you should also be aware that blue light affects children much more than it does adults so make sure you limit your children’s screen time and don’t let them use electronic devices an hour before bed as this could increase their chances of developing ADHD.