Understanding blue light & how it impacts your health

A quick summary:

With almost everyone working from home and Zoom calls becoming the new normal, you may be experiencing headaches, tired eyes or having trouble falling asleep. Well, you might not be surprised to hear that is a result of the blue light that’s emitted from your digital device screens.

Blue light; what is it all about?

Blue light is one of the many wavelengths of light which make up the visual spectrum that we see. Blue light is the shortest frequency wavelength, which means it has the most ‘energy’ and therefore can do the most damage. Blue light naturally occurs in the sun and can help to regulate sleep cycles, increase productivity and even give you a nice tan.

Artificial blue light is also found in digital devices such as phones, TVs and laptops, as well as some lightbulbs. More importantly, extended exposure to blue light  (both sunlight and artificial light) can have a significant impact on your eyes, sleep, skin and wider health. We wear sunblock to protect our skin from the sun, so why wouldn’t you protect your eyes from the same light?

Blue light and your sleep

During the day, blue light boosts our energy and mood. However, our bodies haven’t evolved fast enough to handle extended periods of blue light exposure; particularly after the sun has set.

So when we’re exposed to this light in the evenings, our bodies are tricked into thinking it’s daytime. This can affect our circadian rhythm, also known as our ‘body clock’. This is because blue light suppresses the body's ability to produce melatonin, the hormone that makes us sleepy. So while watching one more episode in bed may be tempting, it may be keeping you alert, stopping you from falling asleep.

Blue light and your eyes

Have you ever noticed that your eyes hurt after spending all day looking at screens and all night looking at the TV? Well, that’s a direct result of blue light. Research has found that exposure to blue light can result in long-term vision problems such as cataracts, damage to the retinal cells and age-related macular degeneration.

The more immediate concern with exposure to blue light is computer vision syndrome, also known as digital eye strain, which is where your eyes become uncomfortable following extended periods of time looking at bright screens. This can result in red, dry or irritated eyes, blurred vision, eye fatigue, headaches and back, neck and shoulder pain.

Although eye strain can cause discomfort, it usually isn’t serious and goes away once you rest your eyes. You may not be able to change the amount of time you’re in front of a computer at work or the factors that can cause eye strain, but you can take steps to reduce it; such as filtering out blue light.

Blue light and your skin

Did you know the extended screen use and exposure to concentrated sources of blue light can damage your skin and cause premature ageing? We don’t think of technology playing a part in our beauty routines, but being exposed to this light throughout the day can impact the colour and texture of our skin.

Visible light triggers certain skin conditions, such as melasma, where the skin is stimulated to produce more pigment. Blue light also has the ability to penetrate deeper into the skin dermis. It’s been shown to induce oxidative stress, which can lead to inflammation and collagen degeneration which in turn can result in fine lines!

Ocushield offer the world’s first and only medically certified anti blue light products. From screen protectors to anti blue light glasses, they’ve come up with a solution to suit everyone’s needs. So you can spend time on screens without all of the negative side effects - allowing you to sleep better, feel better and get more done.