We have all heard of blue light. We know that we are constantly exposed to it, but we know very little about it. What is blue light? Where does blue light come from? Is it bad? These and many more questions may arise regarding this topic. We will be discussing this issue with the renowned Dr. Francisco Dacarett, a specialist in General Ophthalmology, Clinical & Surgical Retina.
What Is Blue Light?
Blue light has been with human beings forever. The greatest exposure we have to blue light comes from the sun.
One of the best examples of blue light is the sky, as we can see it in large quantities. When the sky is clear, the blue light spectrum, between 500 and 700 nanometers, hits the air and the water that is in the environment and this has the effect of blue light. There are other spectra that we can also see as in rainbows.
It should be considered that there are also spectra that we cannot see as ultraviolet, recognized for causing skin cancer, and infrared.
Is Blue Light Necessary?
Blue light is a natural and necessary component of light.
Since the appearance of LED screens, we are more exposed to blue light because LED produces blue light more than any other electronic device. Before we were only exposed to blue sunlight, now, we are overexposed, as we also receive it artificially by using lamps, screens, and other LED devices constantly. This exposure can bring some problems, however, none of them are very serious.
The problem of blue light exposure at night is that the brain should not have that stimulus because we are no longer exposed to the sun. At the ocular level, our pupils are dilated at night and respond with more sensitivity. In that sense, it is more harmful. When reading at night, it is always recommended to turn on ambient or indirect light.
Fact: Did You Know Why Pirates Wear An Eye Patch?
When the pirates boarded a ship, it was known that at some point they should go down to fight with their counterpart. Because the lower part of the ship was dark, a pirate used the patch so that his eye would already be adapted to night vision and be more likely to win.
Are There Any Real Damages Due to Blue Light Exposure?
There is psychosocial damage, sleep disorder damage, psychosocial disorders, addictions, isolation, and loss of social abilities.
If there is long-term exposure to a screen, there are social consequences, like people that do not relate well or that can demonstrate aggressiveness. Besides, there are undoubtedly problems with lack of concentration and sleep.
Important: blue light does not produce cancer!
If you go to your bedroom to sleep, go to sleep and leave your mobile phone charging in the living room. If you want to use it, do it in the living room.
I recommend there should be no television in the room, our eyes and brain need to know that our room is a place to rest, there should be no blue light in the room.
How Can We Take Care of Blue Light?
I used to be a nonbeliever of glasses with filters, but today I can say that they help a lot. Once, I was exposed constantly to computer screens and identified myself with the common Computer Visual Syndrome, CVS. Basically, CVS is an exposure to a lot of computer or mobile phone screens in such a concentrated way that a point of no blinking is achieved by the viewer. Blinking is very important to keep the eye from becoming dry. When one feels dry eyes, there are consequences such as wanting to blink more, keep the eyes closed, have red-eye, or blurred vision. All these symptoms correspond to CVS, which is closely related to blue light.
This is where the primary role of filters comes in. The yellow lens allows more computer work time, helping to take care of the eyes. There are also other filter options, and some electronic devices already bring filters that help take care of the eye.
Specifically, What Should I Do To Take Care Of My Eye From Blue Light And Prevent CVS?
- For every hour of work, rest 5 minutes of any type of screen.
- Search for integrated filters or search for filter apps with warmer monitors.
- Use artificial lubricants or tears.
- Ask your ophthalmologist what drops you can use.
Some patients believe that putting lemon or breast milk on their eyes will help them. Don’t do it, it doesn’t work!
In Your Clinic, How Many Cases Do You Attend For Blue Light Issues?
Out of every 20 patients, about 5 arrive with CVS symptoms.
With age, is one more prone to blue light?
Blue light is not going to hurt you more as you age, but since your eyes are more vulnerable, the effect is likely to be felt more intensely.
Also, it should be considered that eye dryness is a natural process of aging. Add the extensive use of computers and air conditioning, and it is much worse. Diabetics are also more exposed because of their eye dryness.
Another bad habit is people who wear contact lenses and work at the computer. It is a very bad habit that can damage their vision.
What symptoms should we be careful to be constantly exposed to blue light?
- Burning eyes,
- Feeling of discomfort, as if it feels dirty
- Blurry vision
- Eye dryness
- Red eyes
These are all symptoms of CVS.
What personal care should we have to prevent these symptoms?
For every hour of exposure to screens, let’s rest for 5 minutes
Use artificial lubricants or tears
Use filters, either in the form of glasses or those available on devices
Or let’s look for an ophthalmologist to prescribe eyeglasses with a filter
In conclusion, blue light is not bad, rather it is necessary. What is bad is the habit of using screens.
Dr. Francisco Dacarett is one of the few national and regional doctors specializing in General Ophthalmology, Clinical & Surgical Retina. He studied medicine at the National Autonomous University of Honduras, his residence and his sub-specialization were carried out in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Dr. Francisco Dacarett contact:
We invite you to enjoy our Llama Talks with Dr. Francisco Dacarett talking about Blue Light!