(WHTM) — Humans day in and day out deal with blue light from electronics. Whether it means watching TV, playing on a computer, or texting someone on your smartphone, at some point during our day we are looking at an electronic device.
But did you know these screens can be detrimental to your health in certain cases?
Blue light is part of the visible light spectrum, which is what the human eye can see. According to the UC Davis Eye Center, it has the shortest wavelength and highest energy. Roughly one-third of visible light is considered blue light, with sunlight being the biggest source of blue light.
Blue light can also be artificially created, with most of it coming from fluorescent lights, LED TVs, and other digital screens.
Before we go into the negatives of blue light, there are some positives, Blue light has been proven to boost alertness, help memory and brain function, and elevate mood. But, the concern is about the long-term effects of screen exposure from digital devices.
According to the Vision Council, 80% of American adults use digital devices for more than two hours per day. Almost 67% use two or more devices at the same time and 59% have symptoms of digital eye strain.
This constant exposure to blue light over time can damage retinal cells and cause vision problems in certain individuals. According to a vision study by the National Eye Institute, children are more at risk than adults because their eyes absorb more blue light from digital devices.
Blue light can also negatively affect sleep by interrupting our circadian rhythms which are defined as physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle, according to the National Institute of Health.
There are a few things you can do to help reduce the possible harmful effects of too much blue light exposure.
Blue light glasses are glasses designed to reduce exposure to the sun and digital devices. There are many studies regarding these glasses, but none have come to a consensus. They do help with eye strain and can be useful if you spend plenty of time in front of screens.
You can also follow the 20-20-20 rule. This rule states that you should take a 20-second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.
Your eye doctor may have other ways to help you reduce blue light from your daily routine.