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What is Blue Light?

Kevin Cleary

As your partner in health and wellness, Health Products For You is committed to keeping you informed and up-to-date on current health concerns.   

In today’s world, many of us are attached to our screens as if they are one of our own appendages. It’s second nature to look at our smartphones or computers to check work emails or a friend's social media post. While we are surrounded by light every day, the light from Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) has a much narrower wavelength. Visible light has a wide range of wavelengths, but LEDs utilize blue light at the end of the spectrum and this can negatively affect us.  

What Is Light?  

Every day at dawn the sun bathes us in light. This white light that we see is actually made up of several different wavelengths of light representing different colors. Anyone who had a science class in school probably remembers ROY G BIV to learn the colors of the spectrum. They stand for:  

  • Red  
  • Orange  
  • Yellow  
  • Green  
  • Blue  
  • Indigo  
  • Violet  

The red end of the spectrum has a lower wavelength (less energy) than violet which has a higher wavelength (more energy.) Blue light is not as energetic as other types of light such as ultraviolet light (UV) but it is on the higher end of the visible spectrum. The concern is that high doses or long exposure to blue light may cause cellular damage.  

 

The Impact on Us  

Technology has exposed us to more blue light due to smart phones, tablets, and LED lights. This exposes us to higher wavelength light. Our eyes use three types of cone receptors in our retinas. Some are sensitive to red, some sensitive to green, and others sensitive to blue. Since blue light has a shorter wavelength, intense amounts of this light may be harmful to our eyes. This could lead to:  

  • Macular Degeneration - blurred or reduced central vision, due to thinning of the macula 
  • Suppression of melatonin affecting our circadian rhythm  
  • Circadian rhythm disruption may contribute to mental health issues  

The effects of the disruption to our circadian rhythm not only may cause mental health struggles, but it can also affect us physically. A Harvard University study gradually shifted the circadian rhythm timing of a group of 10 people. Their blood sugar levels increased and their levels of the hormone leptin went down. This hormone helps people feel full after a meal, and therefore results in eating less. Here are some steps to avoid blue light at night/bedtime:  

  • Use red nightlights  
  • Turn off your screens 2-3 hours before bedtime  
  • Expose yourself to bright light during the day  
  • When working off hours, wear blue-blocking glasses that filter blue light at night  

Energy-efficient LED lightbulbs, smartphone screens, and tablets may be environmentally beneficial, but the blue light they emit may be impacting our physical and mental wellbeing. health You should limit exposure to blue light before bedtime so not to negatively affect your eyes, melatonin production, and circadian rhythm. This could lead to a better night’s sleep and a more productive day.  

 

Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.

 


HPFY Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.

In 2006, ...

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