The Basics of Blue Light
Facts About Blue Light By Our San Jose Optometrist
There’s a lot of talk nowadays about the dangers of blue light, yet do you fully understand what it is? Let our San Jose eye doctors and Berryessa Optometry team enlighten you!
What is blue light?
All light is composed of electromagnetic particles that move in waves of varying lengths and powers, always emitting energy. The shorter the wavelength, the higher the amount of energy. Wavelengths are assigned different colors and categories, and blue light, with one of the shortest, high-energy wavelengths, lies within the grouping of visible light that we can see.
Where is blue light?
Did you ever wonder why we see blue skies? When the light from the sun journeys through our atmosphere, blue wavelengths crash into air molecules, causing the blue light to disperse.
In fact, blue light surrounds us at all times, shining from the sun, electronic devices, fluorescent lighting, digital screens and LED lights. In our high-tech world, most of us spend hours per day gazing at a digital screen – being exposed to loads of artificial blue light.
Is blue light good or bad?
Both answers are correct.
Natural blue light from the sun helps to regulate your circadian rhythm, setting the times for sleeping and waking. It also jumpstarts your energy levels, boosts your moods, fortifies your memory and speeds your reactions.
Artificial blue light, as well as too much natural blue light, is an entirely different story. Blue wavelengths, also known as “High Energy Visible” (HEV) wavelengths, flicker a lot, which generates a glare that can impact visual clarity and reduce visual contrast. After hours in front of a computer screen, this flickering often leads to headaches, eyestrain and general fatigue.
In addition, your eyes are built with natural filters against many damaging elements, yet these filters do not protect adequately against blue light that emanates from the sun or from artificial sources. Prolonged exposure to blue light rays may contribute to macular degeneration or cause retinal damage, both of which threaten your vision.