It is more and more present in our lives. It penetrates deep into our eyes, which is not without risk. With the development of various connected objects, we are more and more exposed to it, up to five to seven hours a day. But what is blue light ?
What are the dangers to which blue light exposes us and what can we do to protect our eyes? Specialists have been working on this subject for several years. Several studies alert us to the different risks, for our eyes in particular and for our health in general.
Different simple solutions exist however to protect oneself. Among them, the anti blue light glasses raise a lot of hope. How do they act? Let us make the point, studies in support!
What is blue light and where does it come from?
It is a part of the spectrum of visible light, whose wavelengths are between 380 and 500 nanometers. It can be emitted by different sources, natural (the sun) or artificial. Depending on the source of emission, the impact is not the same. It can be beneficial or negative.
Natural source: health benefits
Blue light can be emitted by a well-known natural source: the sun. This light, close to turquoise on the spectrum, is located between 470 and 500 nanometers.
It is beneficial and helps regulate our “internal clock” (responsible for our sleep cycles). It is advisable to be exposed to this light for at least one hour a day, especially in the morning.
This light also acts positively on our morale, with a real impact on well-being and good mood. Some people are prone to the famous “seasonal depression” at the beginning of winter, when the periods of sunshine are shorter than the rest of the year.
Artificial springs: beware of danger
Blue light can also be emitted by various artificial sources, via objects with light-emitting diodes (otherwise known as “LED”): LED bulbs in homes, street lighting, televisions, smartphones, tablets, computers, lamps, connected objects …
It is the blue-violet light of the spectrum (between 380 and 470 nanometers). Its waves are shorter and more harmful. They are highly stimulating.
This type of blue light is more energetic than natural light and penetrates the eye more deeply. It is therefore potentially dangerous for the retina, but not only.
It is also likely to disrupt our biological rhythms, which is why we must try to limit our exposure to artificial blue light.
The harmful effects of blue light
The harmful effects of blue light on health are now well known. Prolonged and recurrent exposure to blue light has effects on the retina, sleep and also the skin.
The most vulnerable people are particularly exposed: infants, children and adolescents (their lens is clearer and filters the light less), pregnant women (danger for the unborn child), the elderly, people with existing pathologies or eye problems, people suffering from migraines, professionals heavily exposed to LED lighting as well as night workers, whose biological clock is already disturbed.
Harmful effects on the eyes
The first direct risk of overexposure to blue light is loss of vision. The most recent scientific data establishes with certainty the harmful effect of blue light exposure on the retina.
The risks of developing Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) are also increased.
Exposure to bright lights at the end of the day disrupts the functioning of our internal biological clock, otherwise known as the circadian cycle. How? Beyond thirty minutes, blue light prevents the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep. The result?
This can shift the sleep schedule, sometimes by several hours. If no action is taken, sleep disorders can then appear on a recurrent basis, from which it becomes difficult to get out.
What do the studies say? The duration and quality of sleep can deteriorate.
Studies reveal, among other things, an increase in the use of screens in the evening, and a worrying number of night-time awakenings due to smartphones. The study shows that 16% of people report suffering from insomnia.
Solution: it is recommended to wear anti blue light glasses, as soon as the person reaches three hours of exposure per day.
Here you will find natural ways to improve your sleep.
Be careful of the danger to the skin
The dangers of blue light do not stop at the risks for the eyes and sleep. Its effects on the skin are also increasingly highlighted: accentuation of wrinkles, appearance of brown spots, alteration of cell renewal… One more bad news.
In addition to these various disorders, exposure to blue light increases visual fatigue, headaches and other migraines.
Do blue light glasses work ?
Faced with all these risks, we must act. One of the most promising solutions is to put filters between our eyes and the various sources of light.
Filters for screens are not very widespread today. Their main weakness? The fact that you have to have as many filters as there are objects emitting blue light.
Another disadvantage is that filters tend to change the colors, which tend to be yellow-orange.
A more practical solution is to use “blue light blocking glasses“, i.e. glasses with a filtering treatment on the lenses. Various models are available on the market.
This type of glasses has already seduced video game players, who can now stare at their screens for several hours at a time without interruption and without feeling any discomfort.
With these glasses, there is no need to have a filter for each object. A single pair is enough to protect the eyes from light wavelengths that are dangerous for the retina.
In practice, the lenses have the ability to filter blue-violet light (harmful) and to let turquoise light (beneficial to health) pass through. The cells of the retina are thus protected.
Another advantage: the blue light blocking glasses allow the production of melatonin to continue, and thus protect the sleep of the people who wear them.
How to reduce your exposure time to LEDs?
As we have seen, LEDs are present everywhere in our daily lives. It’s hard to escape them when they are part of our daily lives. How can we reduce our exposure time, when we know that the harmful effects of this light are felt from the first thirty minutes of exposure?
One of the simple solutions to limit exposure to blue light is to reduce the time of exposure to LEDs.
Favour indirect lighting at home, use a lampshade, be vigilant when buying or using objects that use a lighting device rich in blue light, avoid screens before bedtime and during the night…
For children, it is important to set up rules for the use of screens, for example by establishing time slots during which the use of screens is authorized, and the time from which screens are no longer accessible.
Let’s also think about the 20-20-20 rule proposed by a Canadian doctor of optometry: every 20 minutes, remember to pause for 20 seconds and look at an object at least 20 feet away (six meters).
If all these precautions are not enough, there is still a solution: try anti-blue light glasses. Some professions are carried out almost exclusively in front of a screen. Despite all the efforts made, special glasses are often required.
The studies are formal: the prolonged and recurrent exposure to various sources of blue light is particularly dangerous for various aspects of our health.
The damage done is difficult to reverse, which is why it is particularly important to act before the first problems appear.
The key word: protection. Our eyes are precious, let us take care of them. The benefits of anti blue light glasses are promising: protection against harmful light, reduction of visual fatigue, improvement of comfort… Try it!