What is blue light and why should you care?
October 28, 2022
Whether they’re focused on sleep, skin care or eye health, it seems everyone is talking about blue light.
That’s because in this hyper-digital era, people are spending more and more time in front of their smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, televisions or gaming monitors, and all those screens offer a steady supply of blue light.
But what exactly is “blue light” and why should we care?
Even without our constant exposure to screens, we are subjected to blue light every day. Blue light is literally what makes the sky appear blue.
Let’s revisit some grade school science lessons about the rainbow, good old Roy G. Biv, also known as the visible light spectrum. The rays of light from the sun include all the colors of the spectrum. They all travel at different wavelengths and most of them are beamed directly to earth without interruption. When those colors are all combined, they appear white to our eyes.
But when something interrupts their travels, they separate from the group and become visible on their own. The blue wavelengths, which are on the shorter end of the spectrum, are sized in such a way that they hit molecules of gas in the atmosphere instead of passing through.
They bounce off and scatter across the atmosphere, turning our sky the brilliant blue we’re so familiar with. Fun fact: Those blue light waves are there even when it’s cloudy.
The sun is our largest source of blue light exposure, but all those screens we talked about, as well as fluorescent and LED lights, are sending out blue light waves, too, just at much smaller amounts.
The concern over devices, and one that researchers continue to study, is whether the close proximity of the light source – phones, tablets, monitors – and the extended use of them make a difference in how our eyes handle blue light.
At the very least, extended use of screens can contribute to digital eye strain—the temporary discomfort that comes from staring at a screen for too long, such as dry eyes and fatigue.
If you are concerned about the amount of time you spend in front of screens and blue light, you can take steps to support your vision health.
Reducing screen time would be a logical first step. That’s a definite challenge in this digital world, but you can make sure to give your eyes a break every now and then. Experts recommend the 20-20-20 rule: After working at a screen for 20 minutes, spend 20 seconds focused on something about 20 feet away.
You can also try blue light filters on your monitors or blue light glasses. Another option is to ensure you’re getting plenty of eye-supporting nutrients in your diet and through supplements, which can fill in gaps.
Nutrilite™ Vision Health with Lutein is formulated with lutein and vitamin A to support healthy vision and protect eyes from free radical damage. It also has extracts from bilberries and black currants that are rich in anthocyanins, plant nutrients associated with vision health.
It’s best to get all your nutrients from a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, but dietary supplements can help fill nutrient gaps that might exist if your healthy diet goals fall a bit short. And you can get more tips for supporting your vision health by reading How to support your eye health on Amway Discover.
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