There is both natural and artificial blue light that can damage your eyes if you don’t properly protect them. Learn how to protect your eyes now.
Blue light is a short, intense wavelength just above ultraviolet light on the visible light spectrum. It occurs naturally and artificially and has both benefits and dangers. Keep reading to learn how to protect your eyes from blue light while still reaping the benefits.
Natural Blue Light: Improves Your Mind but Hurts Your Eyes
Blue light occurs naturally from the sun and is part of the reason we perceive the sky as blue. Looking at natural blue light during the day can help you maintain a healthy circadian rhythm, which regulates your body’s waking and sleeping schedule. This type of light can also improve alertness, memory, brain function, and mood.
However, too much natural blue light can damage your eyes since it’s such an intense form of light. To prevent this damage, wear high-quality sunglasses when you’re outside. The right pair should block at least 99% of UV rays and 75% of visible light.
Artificial Blue Light: Keeps You Awake but Damages Your Eyes
Artificial blue light comes from our digital screens, such as computers and smartphones. When our eyes absorb this light, our brain responds by suppressing melatonin, which is the chemical we need to sleep. This can be beneficial during the workday when we need to stay awake and be productive, but there are also potential side effects.
Some of the side effects of staring at a screen all day are eye dryness, eye fatigue, and retinal problems. Scrolling constantly on social media can also shorten your attention span and negatively affect your mood. Avoid these visual and cognitive problems by wearing blue light glasses and taking frequent screen breaks. A good rule for eye breaks is to stop working every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This is called the 20-20-20 rule.
Additional Ways To Protect Your Eyes
There are additional ways to protect your eyes from blue light beyond glasses and eye breaks. Most devices now come with blue light filters you can turn on and off as needed. If your device has the option to set the blue light schedule to sunrise and sunset in your area, use that option.
If your device doesn’t have this filter option, set the blue light filter to turn on during the hour that sunset normally occurs in your area and to turn off in the hour the sun normally rises. Even with this filter, it’s a good idea to turn off all screens an hour before going to bed so you don’t negatively affect your circadian rhythm. You should also visit an eye doctor every year to keep your eyes healthy and get professional advice for any symptoms you develop.
Now you know how to protect your eyes from blue light by wearing the proper glasses, taking eye breaks, making use of blue light filters, turning off screens before bed, and visiting your eye doctor. By protecting your eyes from too much blue light, you’ll be able to keep your eyes healthy while stabilizing your circadian rhythm and mood.