Blue light is a part of the visible light spectrum; it can come from digital devices, fluorescent lighting solutions, and of course, the sun. Researchers have found that exposure to blue light at night from phones can disrupt your ability to fall asleep as blue light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that tells us when it is time to sleep. In addition to disrupting sleep, blue light can lead to retinal stress, which can cause an early onset of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). As one of the best eye hospitals in Kolkata, we have curated a list of useful insights on blue light and its effect on our health:
- Blue light affects sleep cycle: Exposure to artificial blue light closer to bedtime can disrupt the circadian rhythm —- internal process that regulates the sleep–wake cycle. During the day, blue light from the sun has been found to help people stay focused and alert. It also boosts memory and cognitive functions. However, when a person is exposed to blue light in the evening hours, the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone, is suppressed. Harvard researchers conducted an experiment where they compared the effects in people who were exposed to 6.5 hours of blue light versus 6,5 hours of green light. It was found that blue light suppresses melatonin for about twice as long as the green light.
- Blue light may cause eye strain: Often many people experience discomfort after looking at digital screens. This is called digital eye strain. When looking at screens, people often blink less. Blinking keeps the eyes moistened and cleans the surface of the eyes of any debris or dirt. When one blinks less, the eyes dry up which can lead to irritated and dry eyes. The best way to protect the eyes against digital strain is to take frequent breaks and blink more often.
- Use devices on night mode: Digital devices come with a night mode that reduces screen brightness, which can reduce eye strain. The night mode reduces glare and helps your eyes adjust to the surrounding light.
- You get more blue light exposure from the sun than any other source: People often associate blue light with digital devices whereas the largest source of harmful blue light is sunlight. A study found that higher levels of sun exposure in teenage and early adult years were associated with early age related macular degeneration. To protect your eyes from the harmful effects of the blue light, wear sunglasses that block 100% of both UVA and UVB light. Also, it is important to wear sunglasses throughout the year , even during winters. Here is a useful read on choosing the right types of sunglasses for your eyes.
If despite cutting back on your screen time and exposure to bright light the eye strain persists, see an eye doctor to find out the causes and the solutions to protect your vision. If you are searching for the best eye hospital in Kolkata and other cities in West Bengal, visit the nearest branch of Disha Eye Hospitals. You can also book an online consultation.