Without the full spectrum of wavelengths of light, we wouldn’t see much at all. In fact, the hues of violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red that exist all enter the eye individually only to join as one at the back of the eye to form white light. This isn’t just riveting trivia; knowing how the different wavelengths of light affect the eye matters to general health and wellness.
Where there is light, there is energy. Every wavelength has its energetic force. It would seem obvious that the hues we perceive as brighter – the reds and oranges and yellows – would have greater energy output. That isn’t how it works, though. Interestingly enough, the highest amount of energy is contained in cool light. Blue light. The wavelengths of light that have become increasingly common in our everyday life over the past few decades.
Think you’re Safe from Blue Light?
Because we have become so accustomed to certain light sources, few people even question if those sources may contain wavelengths of light that could be harmful to the eyes. Just think, though, of a time when you spent several hours on your computer or tablet. We’d be willing to guess your eyes were more than a little fatigued and irritated.
Computers aren’t the only culprits that expose us to blue light. The sunshine that warms your skin is where the bluest light comes from. Sunglasses can shield you from overwhelming consequences, though. Other sources of which you may not be getting protection include:
LED light bulbs.
Compact fluorescent lighting.
LED television screens.
Tablets and other digital devices, including your smartphone.
Why does this matter?
Why would we want to pay attention to exposure to blue light? Children are particularly susceptible to the effects of blue light. They need enough to facilitate the development of visual acuity, but too much may alter the growth of ocular structure, increasing the risk of nearsightedness. While adults may not suffer too much from blue light regarding vision, outside of unnecessary eye strain, research has linked blue light exposure to insomnia more than once.
Multiple studies have suggested that we need blue light to promote alertness during the day. However, at night, we need to avoid the wavelengths of blue light if we want to sleep. Blue light naturally suppresses melatonin, and melatonin is the hormone that helps us fall asleep and stay asleep.
Is it time to have your eyes checked for wellness? Call your Winchester, VA eye doctor at 540-722-6200.
Posted in: Eye Health