What Is Blue Light & Is It Bad?

Sunlight, or white light, is a spectrum of all colors of light. This spectrum ranges from low energy to high energy and red to blue colored light. Lately, there has been a lot of chatter about blue light and its deleterious effects on our health. We are exposed to blue light every day from the sun, light bulbs, and computer screens.

“Controlled amounts of blue light have been shown to be beneficial for certain skin conditions including rosacea, acne, and certain types of skin cancers,” explains Dr. Melanie Pickett, a board-certified dermatologist at Sanova Dermatology in Austin, Texas. However, excess exposure to blue light has been attributed to eye-strain and an increased risk for macular degeneration.

Blue light has also been shown to have a significant impact on sleep patterns and increases wakefulness. “This impact on sleep can lead to other health concerns, such as obesity, cancer, and an array of mental health disorders,” Dr. Pickett informs.

There are three effective ways to protect our eyes and bodies from the dangers of blue light:

  1. Blue-Light Blocking Glasses – One of the most frequent health concerns involving blue light is digital eye strain. Fortunately, there are glasses that are tinted in order to block the amount of blue light that passes through the lens. These glasses are used by many professionals who work at their computer screens all day. The decreased amount of blue light can decrease eye strain, migraines, and help with sleep.
  2. Diet – Our diet can have a significant impact on eye health. It is important to eat foods that strengthen our eyes and reduce inflammation. Incorporate foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, and lutein.
  3. Limit Device Use Before Bed – In order to avoid a disruption in sleep patterns, electronic device use should be limited before bedtime. Instead of swiping through social media before bed, read a novel or a newspaper. Blue light before bed has been shown to have a significant negative impact on sleep quality.

How Can Blue Light Effect The Skin?

Along with the potential impact to our eyes and bodies, blue light can cause negative effects on the skin. “Blue light has been shown to cause hyperpigmentation, or discoloration, in certain skin tones,” shares Dr. Melanie Pickett, a board-certified dermatologist at Sanova Dermatology. “It has also been shown to induce reactive oxygen species, which can damage the skin and accelerate aging.  A great way to protect your skin from visible light, including blue light, is to use a tinted sunscreen containing iron oxide, in addition to other sun-protective behaviors.”

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By following these methods, you can avoid the impact blue light has on your eyes, sleep, and overall health. To learn how blue light can be beneficial to your health contact us today!

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