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Is Blue Light Really Harmful for Your Eyes?

I am Harsh, a laboratory technician and eyewear expert with more than 23 years of experience in the eyeglasses industry.


The pandemic has brought about unprecedented changes in our day-to-day lifestyle. It has forced us to adapt to various situations, whether in the form of online classes, work from home, or even teleconsultation. There may be some changes that might not last once the pandemic ceases to exist, but some changes are definitely here to stay. One of those is our dependence on the digital mediums, which has increased manifolds ever since the pandemic arrived.

Last week, I was advised to buy a pair of blue light glasses. I headed online to look for one and was really amazed by the stylish options available here. Ever since I have started using these pairs, the problems that I had been experiencing due to my increased screen time has reduced significantly. Firstly, let us understand why increasing screen time is a cause for concern.

Increasing screen time: A health concern?

Lot of time spent in front of a digital screen may result in some health issues - both physical and mental. Some of the common problems experienced are chronic neck and back pain, sleep deprivation, etc. Increasing screen time can also be responsible for health issues like obesity, or even depression and anxiety. There are high chances that the time that you spend on physical activities also may get reduced, with the increase in your screen time.

Also, there are increasing discussions in medical circles about the effect of blue light on our eyes. But what is blue light?

Blue light: What?

Blue light corresponds to a region in the visible spectrum of light having the highest frequency levels. A higher frequency also means higher energy levels. It is this particular property of blue light that is under consideration, in order to find out whether it has any harmful impact on our eyes.

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The sources of blue light include both natural and artificial sources. The majority of blue light received on the earth comes from the sun, which is a natural source. Sources like LED light bulbs, fluorescent lamps, and the much talked about digital screens are some of the major artificial sources.

Is blue light harmful?

A lot of research has been carried out around this extremely important question. Some findings have been significant, some inconclusive and some works are still under progress. However, there are definitely few takeaways to guide our way towards what should be our further action.

Blue light is actually a need for the body to function properly, provided it is received in the right amounts. It helps in keeping our circadian rhythm aligned - the natural sleep and wake cycle of the body - by regulating melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormones in our body. Blue light also alleviates our mood by keeping us alert and active.

But there are also certain conditions where blue light may cause more harm than good. Excessive exposure to blue light may prove to be harmful. Also, it is advised to avoid high exposure after sunset or under dim light conditions.

Can blue light damage your eyes?

Now that we know that blue light might prove to be harmful, we also need to understand in what ways. It also needs to be noted that the harm arising out of blue light in the above-mentioned conditions is primarily because of the high frequency of blue light.

One of the most common problems that people complain of, when there is a need for them to stay fixed on digital screens for a long period of time, is eye strain. The dominative symptoms of eye strain include headaches, dry eyes and also blurred vision. Other issues that one might face is phototoxicity (a condition in which retina is damaged) and also age-related macular degeneration, although more study needs to be done to establish this as a medical fact.

Should you use blue light glasses?

Glasses that block blue light is one of those products that is being touted as a probable preventive measure to counter the ill effects of blue light. These glasses use a protective coating on the lenses that blocks the blue light and significantly reduces the blue light striking our eyes to negligible levels.

So, it’s high time that you get your pair of blue light glasses. A must have accessory for your digital wellbeing!

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