Blue Light – There is an Enemy Out There!
High energy light, also known as “Blue Light” is our enemy. This fast moving blue light scatters as it passed through the eye providing little use for vision. It actually reduces clear vision by creating chromatic aberration as it scatters. Exposure to Blue Light is linked to several health concerns. The concerns Include Age Related Macular Degeneration, and changes in the human circadian rhythms, our sleep/wake cycles.
A light wave length is more likely to cause damage to human tissue when it is shorter because the energy level is higher. Blue light begins just after the short Ultra Violet rays that we know damages parts of the eye. However the eye has a protection against UV light. The lens within the eye absorbs the UV light preventing the damaging rays from reaching the retina. It is that absorption that causes the lens to turn cloudy later in life, resulting in cataracts. Please note that children do not have this defense fully developed until around the age of 25. Children should wear sunglasses for protection.
The human eye does not have a natural defense against blue light. The sun is the greatest source of blue light. Our life styles have brought that threat into our homes and offices. Artificial sources of blue light include many electronic devices, plasma TVs, smart phones, computers and compact fluorescent lights. We are using our devices more hours and more frequently, thus exposing us to the effects of blue light. Since it is not naturally filtered, blue light is absorbed by the retina. This is the growing concern of many eye care professionals since research suggests a link between HEV light and early on-set of Age Related Macular Degeneration. This absorption of blue light is linked to influences in hormone secretion, heart rate, alertness, and sleep propensity. The radiation absorbed causes changes in the production of melatonin. A chemical produced to induce sleep. Resulting in poor-quality sleep or sleep interruptions.
While these are early warning signs, it may be decades before the full impact of blue light is realized.
There is a wide variety of new products available to control the transmission of blue light. Ask your licensed Optician for more information on how to protect you and your family.