You may have heard that blue light is bad for you. But what does that mean and what can you do to protect yourself?

What is blue light?

light-bulbOn the electromagnetic spectrum, blue light has a shorter wavelength than other visible light. According to Harvard Medical School, blue wavelengths boost attention, reaction times, and mood – beneficial if you are getting things done during the day, but disruptive if you are trying to fall asleep. Electronic devices like computer screens, laptops, and cell phones emanate blue light. Light from compact fluorescent lightbulbs and LED lights also produce more blue light than traditional light bulbs.

Why is blue light disruptive?

Blue light signals your body to lower the production of melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that helps your circadian rhythms – it sets your body’s internal clock so you go to sleep and wake up on a schedule.  The disruption of your melatonin production can cause you to have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep, particularly if you use your electronic devices 2-3 hours before bedtime. If your melatonin production is lowered over a long period of time (think of people who work the night shift or who live very far north where it’s daylight for months at a time), this disruption can have long term effects such as depression, cancer, age related macular degeneration or diabetes.

What can I do to protect myself?

The good news is that scientists have created an affordable coating for eyeglasses that helps block blue light. If you work on a computer all day, you look at a digital screens in the evening, or your job requires you to work second or third shifts, we have eyeglasses that can help block blue light so you can protect your circadian rhythms and ultimately your health.

According to a study at John Carroll University, blue coated eye glasses improve rates of depression, seasonal affective disorder, and even decrease ADHD symptoms in some people.

Unlike yellow or orange lenses that also block blue light (remember that sunglasses commercial from the early 1980’s?), today’s lens coating doesn’t change the colors of objects. In fact, the coating is often just one of many that help reduce glare, protect your eyes from UV radiation and resist scratching. By wearing blue blocking lenses, you will likely find you experience less eye strain, headaches, and eye fatigue.

Consider blue blocking lenses for your next pair of eye glasses. We’re happy to show you samples of lenses and answer your questions so you can make an educated decision about your vision and your health.