Do you have a grasp of what blue light is? The light spectrum is a fairly complicated concept, but it can be broken down into a simple understanding. Essentially, blue light has a shorter wavelength, and therefore contains more energy, than yellow or red light, which is what the human eye is accustomed to seeing. In fact, blue light is the most high-energy light that is still somewhat visible to the naked eye.
What does this mean for practical purposes? As an optometrist who provides eye exams in Cape Cod, we know all about blue light. Here are five facts that will help you understand what blue light is and what role it might play in your life:
- It’s all around us: Fluorescent lights, LED lights, the light that comes from our TV screens, computers and phones—all of these lights emit blue light, meaning that if you are indoors right now, chances are you are being exposed to at least a couple different forms of blue light. But if you spend too much time staring directly at blue light, that could be bad for your vision—so be sure to take a computer break every now and then!
- It makes the sky blue: If you have a little one in your life, then they have probably asked you why the sky is blue at one point or another—and you might not have been sure how to answer that question! The truth is that blue light, with its short wavelengths and high amount of energy, is easier to see than the other rays the sun emits. Thus, the sky appears blue to the human eye. Try explaining that to your toddler the next time they ask, “But why?”
- Your eyes are bad at blocking it: You have probably heard about how harsh UV rays can be bad for your eyes, and that is why it is important to wear polarized sunglasses when you are out in the sun for a long time. But your eyes are actually pretty good at filtering out UV rays, meaning less than one percent of it reaches your retinas. However, blue light is very adept at passing through your cornea and lens and into your retina, meaning that although it is less harsh than UV rays, it might also do more damage.
- Exposure puts you at risk for macular degeneration: Macular degeneration is a gradual vision problem that will eventually take away your vision completely. Too much exposure to blue light can cause damage to your retinas, which increases your risk of developing macular degeneration.
- Digital eye strain: When you spend all day looking at the computer, you might find that you find it difficult to focus your eyes in any one spot. This is called digital eye strain, and it’s cause by absorbing too much blue light.
Now that you know about the negative effects of blue light, you might feel like you ought to schedule an eye exam in Cape Cod to make sure your eyes haven’t been overexposed. If that is the case, feel free to get in touch with Bayview Optometrics to book an appointment!