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Understanding the Impact of Blue Light on Your Eyes

by Tim

We are living in a digital era where our electronic devices keep us hooked. You cannot escape the long hours spent on the mobile and laptop screens. When the day begins in an office and ends at home, a laptop screen remains constant.

Whether used for working or entertainment purposes, digital devices serve us well. But, are you aware of the negative impacts of this technology?

Digital screens of computers, smartphones, and tablets emit blue light that can cause severe harm to your eyes. You can catch blue light whether you step out in the sun or sit in front of a digital screen.

However, the time we spend on our digital devices is more than being exposed to the sun. This usage leads to overexposure to blue light which can cause vision problems, cataracts, and other eye diseases. Eye strain, headaches, and dry eyes can also result from the same.

What is Blue Light?

The visible light spectrum consists of seven colours namely red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet ranging from the longest to the shortest wavelength. Blue light has a wavelength of 380 to 500 nanometers (nm). Also known as high-energy visible (HEV) light, its shortest wavelength contributes to the highest energy produced.

What is the difference between Natural & Artificial Blue Light?

The natural daylight produced by the sun contains the full light spectrum as it is accompanied by different colours and wavelengths. One of the benefits of natural blue light is that it gives you a feeling of being awake and boosts your energy during the day. The intensity of this light decreases as the day ends.

Artificial blue light emitting from digital devices causes more harm as it disturbs your sleep cycle. Most people continue the use of smartphones and laptops at night and the light tricks their brain into thinking it is daytime.

Sources of Blue light

  1. Digital screen – Television, smartphones, computers, and laptop screens emit a significant amount of Blue light.
  2. LED lighting – The semiconductors of LEDs consist of gallium nitride which emits blue light.
  3. Sunlight – The sunlight comprises various colours and blue light is one of them.

The Impact of Blue Light on Eye Health

  1. Eye strain and Fatigue

Sitting in front of digital screens for a long period can cause symptoms of eye strain. You may experience headaches, blurry vision, dry eyes, itching, etc.

Blue light coming from digital devices has a shorter wavelength which is why it falls in front of the retina. Performing high-concentration tasks on your computer for a long time can cause near-sightedness and eye fatigue due to constant blue light exposure.

  1. Disruption of Sleep Patterns

As we use our smartphones and laptops before going to bed, it can hinder our ability to sleep. Blue light emitting from these devices can block the production of melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy.

LED lightings also emit blue light so you should not keep them on in the evening. It will disrupt your circadian rhythm which regulates the mental and physical systems in your body for 24 hours.

  1. Potential long-term effects

Excessive blue light exposure not only causes eye fatigue and headaches but also has long-term effects. It can lead to macular degeneration which gets worse over time and can result in complete vision loss. The central portion of the retina, called the macula breaks down due to the harm caused by HEV light.

When the lens of your eye absorbs excessive blue light, the visibility decreases, or the colour changes. This leads to the formation of cataracts.

How Blue Light Glasses Work?

Blue light glasses have materials embedded into them that target and cut the high wavelength of the HEV light. It filters the blue light to a normal level differently during the day and night. The technology uses different coatings like anti-reflective, anti-scratch, anti-UV, etc.

One can select an anti-reflective coating for their prescription glasses as it reduces the glare and reflections that can cause eye strain due to prolonged screen time. Some blue glasses also come with a warm yellow or orange tint to reduce the transmission of blue light without distorting the perception of other colours.

Wearing blue light spectacles can reduce the transmission of the short wavelength, protecting your retinal health. It helps you focus on the digital screen clearly which results in reduced eye strain and promotes better sleep during the night.

Blue Light Glass vs. Regular Glasses

Regular prescription glasses are made for vision correction and fail to protect your eyes against blue light. You may keep your prescription glasses on while working on the laptop or computer and still suffer from eye strain. Whereas, blue light glasses are designed with advanced technology that filters out the harmful blue rays and reduces chances of eye fatigue, cataracts, and eye cancers.

Tips for Reducing Blue Light Exposure

Setting Screen Time Limits: Cut off some of your screen time by taking a break on weekends. You can also reduce the usage by powering off your digital devices a few hours before going to bed. It can reduce the exposure of blue light rays and help in the release of melatonin.

Implementing the 20-20-20 rule for eye breaks: Try taking a break from your screen every 20 minutes by focusing on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This exercise can prove to be extremely helpful in reducing eye strain and dry eyes.


Overexposure to blue light in the digital age can increase your chances of developing various eye problems. The harmful blue rays can disturb the regulation of the circadian rhythm and lead to retinal damage. Opt for a pair of blue light glasses and take the necessary precautions to prevent complete vision loss and eye cancer.

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