What Blue Light Is

Blue light is everywhere we look, from sunlight to our day-to-day devices. We at 5-Minute Crafts have decided to take a deeper look at what it actually is, including some of its benefits as well as its negative effects.

Where you can find blue light

Blue light is one of several colors in the visible light spectrum. It’s produced by devices like your smartphone, your laptop, your television, etc. The sun emits blue light too.

Benefits of blue light

It can help regulate your circadian rhythm (wake-and-sleep cycle). It can also boost alertness, help with your memory, raise your mood, and improve not only your attention span but also your reaction time. Blue light can potentially help with seasonal depression too.

Skin conditions like actinic keratosis and plaque psoriasis have also been improved when treated with blue light. Additionally, it’s also been used to kill acne-causing bacteria and reduce inflammation when there are acne breakouts.

Negative effects of blue light

Being exposed to blue light late at night will stimulate your brain, which slows or even stops the release of melatonin (the sleep hormone), making it harder for you to fall asleep. Some research has also shown a link between eye damage and short-wave blue light with wavelengths between 415 and 455 nanometers. And, the devices we use (smartphones, television, tablets) all have wavelengths between 400 and 490 nanometers.

Blue light can also cause eye strain, often making people experience these symptoms:

  • Eyes that are either tired, dry, sore, or irritated
  • Headaches
  • Facial muscle fatigue from squinting

How to reduce the negative effects of blue light

  • You can get blue-light filters for your devices. These will prevent the blue light from reaching your eyes without affecting the way you see the display.
  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule to reduce the eye strain you feel. This means if you’re looking at or working using a screen, take a 20-second break to view something that’s 20 feet away every 20 minutes.
  • You can also control the lighting and glare that’s coming off the screens.
  • Set up a good working distance and posture for the way you view your screens and correct even minor vision problems.
  • In your next eye examination, mention blue light protection and the way you use your devices to your eye doctor.
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