Blue light is usually found in today’s energy-efficient lighting. However, despite its eco-friendly quality, it can actually disrupt your sleep and put you at risk for certain diseases.
Studies suggest that lack of sleep may contribute to cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity. In this post, your local eye doctor discusses how blue light affects your eyes and overall health.
Light Exposure and Circadian Rhythms
Circadian rhythms are how most living organisms respond to the changes in their environment. It is mainly triggered by daylight, which also activates the genes controlling the molecular structure of biological clock. Changes in your body clock affect your circadian rhythms.
Your circadian rhythms can affect your sleep-wake cycles, eating habits, digestion, hormone release and other essential bodily functions. Body clocks that are too fast or slow can interrupt circadian rhythms. Irregular rhythms are linked to health conditions, such as sleep disorders, obesity, diabetes, bipolar disorder, depression and seasonal affective disorder.
Blue light also disrupts the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycles, more powerfully than any kind of light. A study compared the melatonin levels of people wearing blue-light-blocking goggles who are exposed to bright blue light to those who are subjected to dim light without goggles. The melatonin levels were very similar among the subjects.
This suggests that people who work at night may protect themselves by wearing blue-light-blocking glasses. Consult with your optometrist to make sure you have the right protective eyewear.
Blue Light Protection
Simple measures can protect you from blue light at night like using dim red lights for night lights because these have minimal effects on the circadian rhythm and melatonin production. Avoid using gadgets with bright screens around two to three hours before bed.
Night shift employees should consider blue-blocking glasses or using an app that filters blue or green wavelength at night. Expose yourself to bright light during the day because it helps you sleep at night and improves your mood and alertness when you wake up.
Protecting the eyes is important, especially in children, because light transmittance is higher among young people, which allows higher levels of blue light to reach the lens and retina. The spectrum of high-energy blue light is around 380 nanometers to 460 nanometers. Eye exposure to light over 435 nanometers can cause cell death in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE).
Make sure to visit your eye doctor to ensure the whole family’s vision is protected. At Advanced Eyecare Consultants, we offer comprehensive eye exams for both children and adults. Call us at (847) 550-3524 or (847) 979-4601, or complete our online request form. We help patients in Barrington, IL.