You only have to open any healthcare website or read any reputable article on general wellbeing to know that there has been a lot of talk in recent years about the harmful effects of blue light on the human body.
It is also no surprise that we are spending more time on digital screens. So, what is the link between an increase in screen time, blue light rays and our health? This article will discuss the link and let you know how you can take steps to mitigate the risk.
We are spending more time than ever before on digital screens
Over the past 2 decades, we have been relying an increasing amount on digital screens.
Mobile phones are no longer simply devices to make and receive calls with a few text messages thrown in. Nowadays, mobile phones are smartphones and we can work, be entertained, read books and much more on our mobile phones.
In addition, the world is clearly moving away from its reliance on paper. Records, files and forms are now almost always digital and this means that office workers and corporate professionals are spending more time on laptop and desktop screens.
To make things even worse, 2023 has seen a devastating world pandemic which has forced most people to work from home and stay away from social interaction. We now spend more time watching TV and watching movies at home, making the time we spend on screens even more staggering.
Blue light and your health
Every time you look at a digital screen (whether it be a laptop, desktop computer, tablet, smartphone or TV) you are being exposed to harmful blue light rays.
Blue light also emanates from the sun but this form of blue light is natural and actually beneficial to humans.
When we are exposed to blue light from a digital source, it can be damaging to our health as this light is artificial.
With the increase in time spent gazing at digital screens, many of us are now experiencing eye issues. The most common eye issues due to blue light exposure are eye strain, red eyes, sore or irritated eyes and dry eyes.
If left unchecked, this increased exposure to blue light can put you at risk for developing a more serious form of eye diseases, such as macular degeneration when we get older. In extreme cases, macular degeneration can result in blindness which is not something anyone aspires to.
In addition to eye issues, over-exposure to blue light can make you experience sore neck and shoulders, backache, migraines and chronic headaches. This can affect your quality of life and prevent you from doing the things you love the most.
One of the more serious issues because of too much blue light exposure is its ability to affect the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. This is also known as the circadian rhythm and it is interrupted because blue light inhibits the body’s ability to secrete melatonin.
Melatonin is responsible for making us feel wide awake, energetic and alert during the day so that we can perform optimally. It is secreted in higher volumes during the evenings in order to prepare us for a good night’s sleep.
When our melatonin production is disturbed, we do not feel tired in the evenings. When we eventually do go to bed, we are prone to just lie there and not be able to fall asleep, despite the late hour.
If we do fall asleep, our sleep quality can be poor at best and we may only enjoy 1 or 2 hours of sleep.
The next day, this inability to sleep can leave us feeling exhausted, drained, tired, sluggish, unproductive and sometimes moody. Feeling this way is not conducive to getting a lot done and we may find ourselves not being able to meet targets, whether they are at work, school or college.
Chronic insomnia or continuously not getting enough, good quality sleep over a long period has been shown to decrease the body’s immune response. As a result, the body can be more prone to catching many bacterial and viral infections.
If you are constantly sick and catch every cold or influenza strain that comes around, it could be because blue light has caused your immune response to be lowered.
How to protect yourself from the harmful effects of blue light
As can be seen from the above, the effects of blue light on the body are nothing to be laughed at and should be taken seriously if you want to enjoy good health.
You probably realize that you won’t be able to reduce your screen time as you would be out of a job if you did.
The good news is that you do not have to reduce the amount of time you spend on screens, as long as you use good quality blue light blocking products.
For instance, Ocushield make a highly regarded and excellent quality range of blue light blocking products that can be purchased from their online store.
Examples of Ocushield’s products include their ever popular blue light blocking glasses, which can be worn when you are working at your computer or watching TV in the evenings.
You could also opt for one of their blue light blocking screen filters. These screen filters can be fitted to any digital device and you can buy one for your tablet, smartphone or laptop computer.