Let the (Right) Light In
- Posted on: Jul 15 2017
Light. There is no way to live without it. There is no way we could see without those many wavelengths of light that enter the eye. Each starts out as its own vivid hue, and ends up combining with the others to form white light. The way that light works in the eye is really fascinating. More than that, though, it is an important topic of discussion if we are going to keep ourselves safe from unnecessary hazards.
Every wavelength of color that forms light has energy to it. When we see the list of hues found in light, red, yellow, orange, green, blue, indigo, and violet, we may feel tempted to associate brighter colors with higher energy. Not so. Research has indicated that it is, in fact, blue light, that is the higher energy source here.
Sources of Blue Light may be All Around You
Over time, scientists have put a great deal of work into innovation. Technological advances have led to impressive new devices that enable us to “stay connected” (that’s another issue altogether). Advancements have led to greater efficiency in the energy that we use each day and in just about every way, right down to our televisions and lightbulbs. And there you have it. LED lightbulbs, compact fluorescent lightbulbs, and our beloved smartphones, tablets, computers, and LED television screens continually put us face to face with blue light.
And this matters because?
Why would we take time to discuss blue light rather than the UV exposure you get when you go outside every day? Well, because even though sunshine is the ultimate source of blue light, most people shade their eyes from its brightness. Wearing sunglasses blunts the effects of wavelengths in the spectrum of blue light. We wouldn’t guess that you wear sunglasses when you’re sitting at your desk under the fluorescent or LED lighting of your office space, or that you wear sunglasses browsing Facebook or the internet on your smartphone before bed.
Blue light tires the eyes. It irritates them and leaves them feeling dry and scratchy. But there’s more. Recent studies have confirmed that blue light is only beneficial for the body during the daytime hours (and artificial blue light is something far different than sunshine blue light). Without the use of special glasses or anti-reflective coatings, digital devices used after dark actually stand in the way of melatonin production, and thus of a good night’s sleep.
In addition to limiting exposure to blue light, you can protect your eyes by staying up to date with comprehensive eye exams. We’re happy to serve you! Call Silverstein Eye in Chester, NJ at 908-879-7297.
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