Harmful Effects of Blue Light

Harmful Effects of Blue Light - Health and Wellness Springfield Missouri

If you’re looking for the perfect way to display how much you love your counterpart this year, tell them “Eye Love You” and dim the blue light on all their devices. With new research on how our eyes can be the cause of many problems, loving your eyes properly can be the key to better sleep, less stress, and longer life.

Our eyes are sensitive to a narrow band of light frequencies. Blue light makes up 1/3 of all visible light and has a shorter wavelength than red light. Therefore, blue light is more energetic and harmful than red light. Blue light, unfortunately, is everywhere.

The main source of blue light is the sun, but we are exposed to more blue light than ever through fluorescent lighting, LED lighting, computer screens, tablets, smartphones, and flat-screen TVs. Even though the eye is good at blocking UV rays from reaching the retina, the eye is not very good at blocking blue light. Therefore, your brain has significant impacts from excessive blue light exposure.

In the morning, blue light can wake you up and help you power through your day, but too much exposure at night can affect your sleep. If you’re exposed to blue light for most of the day and night through working on your computer, smartphones, or watching tv, it is certainly wrecking your sleep.

Blue light suppresses melatonin, the hormone that tells your brain when it’s time to sleep. It makes your body think it’s daytime when we should not be sleeping. This may lead to poor sleep quality, difficulty falling asleep and daytime fatigue. Electronic device use is prevalent among teenagers, therefore sleeping difficulties and drowsiness during the day are significant issues.

Blue light overexposure also decreases mitochondria, causes eye strain, increases headaches and brain strain. This increases your risk of serious illnesses like heart disease, cancer, obesity, cataracts, macular degeneration, and diabetes.

How can you protect yourself from the harmful effects of blue lights? Invest in blue-light blocking glasses, blackout curtains, and dim the lights in your home at night. Wear blue-light blocking glasses such as Swannies at night in your home. Avoid any electronic screen use 2-3 hours before bed. Limit screen time to no more than two hours per day for children aged 5-18 and one hour per day for children aged 2-5 and avoid completely for children under 2.

You can purchase light filter apps for smartphones and computers. There is Iris software for blue light blocking computers at home and in the office. You can also turn on the “night shift” on iPads and iPhones. Apple currently offers the “night shift” setting and Samsung offers a “blue light filter” to decrease the amount of blue light that’s displayed on the screen of the device.

Don’t forget to supplement with antioxidants such as lutein and astaxanthin for your eyes. Most importantly, try to get 20 minutes of sunshine a day with no sunglasses or blue-blocking glasses on and as much of your skin exposed as possible.

Loving your eyes is just as important as loving the other parts of your body. Take some of these easy steps to protect your family’s eyes and overall health and wellness in Springfield, Missouri.

Keri Sutton - RN, MSN, ANP-C, AGPCNP-BC

Keri is a Nurse Practitioner and founder at Kare Health & Wellness. Keri's pursuit of personal answers to her own health issues landed her in the top of Functional Medicine. As she utilized functional Medicine to get her own health and life back, she made it her life's work to bring this empowering form of healthcare to as many people as she can.

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