What is blue light? Advantages, disadvantages, sources, glasses and more

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On the other hand, too much exposure to blue light can lead to:

  • Sleep disturbance Exposure to blue light can disrupt your circadian rhythm, which can interfere with sleep. According to a February 2019 systematic review published in International Chronobiology, absorbing blue light for two hours at night suppresses the production of melatonin, the hormone that makes you drowsy and helps you fall asleep.

    Blue light tricks your body into thinking it’s daylight, which makes sleep harder to find, according to the Sleep Foundation.

  • Eye strain According to UC Davis Health, you may experience digital eye strain from staring at screens for too long because blue light scatters more easily than other lights, which can reduce contrast.

    It’s not just the blue light that’s the problem. The way we use screens also contributes to eye strain. “When we use these devices, we become zombies,” says Tamiesha Frempong, MD, an ophthalmologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. “We don’t blink as much as we do in normal conversation, so the eyes get dry.” According to the Vision Council, nearly 6 in 10 American adults report experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain, such as headaches and dry eyes.

    This discomfort is often temporary and usually goes away when you step away from the screen, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

You might also be curious about whether blue light exposure is harming your skin. Unfortunately, it is too early to tell. A December 2018 article published in the Journal of Biomedical Physics and Engineering noted that the long-term effects of blue light on the skin are not yet fully understood.

While eye strain and insomnia are not ideal, the blue light from your devices is unlikely to permanently damage your eyes or lead to macular degeneration, according to Harvard Health Publishing.

“There is no evidence that blue light causes damage to the eyes,” says Dr Frempong.

None of the experts we spoke to are concerned about blue light. But they are concerned about screen time.

“We have to worry about being glued to these devices all the time – and children especially because of childhood obesity and the need for socialization,” Frempong said. A February 2018 review published in Environmental research have found that excessive screen time in children and adolescents can also lead to poor sleep, an increased risk of cardiovascular problems like high blood pressure, and changes in emotional regulation.

Everyone reacts to screen exposure differently, so it’s hard to say how much is too much. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says limit your screen time outside of work to two hours a day.

RELATED: Does blue light harm the health of your skin?


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