We all know light is made up of many colours, the colours in the rainbow and the light from a prism, that is the range of colours we can visibly see. Everything we see is a result of all the colours of the visual spectrum. Part of this spectrum comes from the blue wavelength or “colour”, which has many positives. It actually energizes us. When it hits our eyes, we feel invigorated, full of energy. The more sun we get, the more of this “blue light” we absorb, and the more energy we receive.
Here is the downside of that same blue light: it has a more hidden and insidious danger. All electronics such as television, computers, or smartphones also emit this blue light radiation, which not only energizes you but also damages the eye. In this day and age, think of how much time is spent in front of computers and your phone.
You may often wonder why at the end of a long day you still feel restless or can’t sleep. So you go on their phones to watch videos, play games, or scroll through social media to tire out before bed, when in fact it is having the opposite effect! You get more energy from those devices that lead you to feel restless. The very last thing you should be doing to get yourself to sleep is to be on electronic devices.
Imagine the amount of blue light entering our eyes daily and you will begin to see why I was shocked and concerned this information is not being shared more, having only learned about it during my Licensed Optician course. I know we are all told to limit our exposure to these devices but in realistic terms, having people limit their screen time is not a viable option. With the amount of work requiring use of electronics, as well as the social aspects of it, asking people to limit their use of these devices will not ever happen.
Nevertheless, there are products available that can limit or block this harmful portion of blue light. There are filters or lenses available for eyeglasses called computer/office lenses or blue filter lenses, which block these harmful rays to prevent eye strain, eye fatigue and potentially more serious eye diseases such as glaucoma and cataracts. There are also snap-on covers to fit over computer screens that can block these rays if eyeglasses are not an option. The only downside is a very slight “yellowing” that can occur when looking at the screen. This may not be a perfect option for graphic designers but for the vast majority, this slight trade-off is worth the benefits.
I could continue writing more on this topic but I wanted to give you a brief summary of this issue and hopefully, it has opened your eyes (no pun intended) to the potential hazards of blue light. Our use of digital devices is going to increase, so being able to limit the amount of exposure our eyes receive will not only ensure we get a better night of sleep but also allows us to enjoy a higher quality of visual life as we get older.