Ever stopped to think how much of your day you spend looking at your phone screen? If you’re an average social media consumer, chances are that you spend a major chunk of your day on your phone. These days, smartphones are almost an extension of us, and many of us can’t function properly without one.
Of course, smartphones are great. But there are some disadvantages, such as over-exposure to blue light. Let’s take a look at the effects of blue light from your phone on your eyes, mind, and body.
What is blue light?
Before we dive deeper into the effects of blue light, let’s first understand what blue light really is. Light allows us to see things, and the visible light spectrum is the range of light colors that our eyes can see. Blue light is part of that spectrum and it vibrates up to the 500 nm range. The unique thing about blue light is that it contains the most energy when compared to others on the visible light spectrum. The screens of our devices - laptops, tablets, phones etc. - emit blue light in a large amount.
How does blue light from our phones affect us?
Blue light has a big impact on our body, both positive and negative. In some ways, it’s even vital for some of our bodily functions, but overexposure to blue light can also have some pretty nasty effects on our eyes, mind, and body. Let’s take a look at what blue light does to us.
Benefits of Blue Light
Let’s start off with the benefits that blue light has on our bodies (it’s not all bad.) Did you know that 80% of all light around us, including sunlight, is made up of blue light? Here’s some of the good stuff:
- Blue light makes us more alert.
- It is good for our cognitive function and memory retention.
- Blue light is also known to have a positive impact on our mood.
- It plays a part in controlling our sleep cycle and keeping our body awake.
Clearly, blue light has some great benefits for us, but you can have too much of a good thing. So what happens when we’re glued to our phones and expose ourselves to too much blue light? Let’s take a look.
Disadvantages of Blue Light
Overexposure to blue light can cause some serious problems. When we’re checking our phones all day, we pay little attention to how much blue light we are subjecting our eyes to, but you might pay a little more attention after reading this! Here’s some of the negative effects of blue light:
- Retinal cell damage –Since blue light is a major component of sunlight, our eyes are not designed to block it out. When we overexpose our eyes to blue light through digital screens, over time we run the risk of permanently damaging the retinal cells in our eyes. This can lead to eyesight-related problems at a young age and even degeneration of eye muscles. In extreme cases, retinal damage could potentially cause eye cancer and cataracts.
- Disruption of sleep –Melatonin is a natural hormone that our body produces. It is responsible for controlling our sleep cycle, amongst other things. The production of melatonin is disrupted by over-exposure to blue light due to too much screen time. When the production of melatonin is disrupted, so is our sleep cycle. This can lead to lack of sleep and even cause some serious sleep disorders like insomnia.
- Fatigue –Always tired? No energy to get up and do something? You may be spending too much time on your phone! You see, blue light puts an enormous amount of strain on our eyes, which leads to extra strain on our mind. After a certain point, our brain gets exhausted, leading to feelings of tiredness and fatigue.
How can you protect yourself from blue light from your phone?
If you want those eyes to stay healthy for many years to come, you need to start protecting yourself from overexposure to blue light from your phone. Here’s some easy ways you can do this:
- Limit screen time – The first and obvious way is to check and limit your screen time. Try not to use your phone in bed or before you are going to sleep. This will allow your body to produce melatonin normally, and you should have a healthy sleep cycle. If you are using your phone for more than 3-4 hours a day, you might need to cut down.
- Blue light glasses – You can buy blue light filtering glasses to protect your eyes. These glasses will filter blue light from your phone screen and protect your eyes. This is an ideal solution for when you plan on watching a screen for an extended period of time. Check out our range of blue light glasses here.
- 20-20-20 Rule – This rule means taking a 20 second break from your phone screen every 20 minutes of continuous use. During this break, look at something that is 20 feet or more away. This allows your eyes to readjust and shake off some of the negative effects of over-exposure to blue light!
So, there you have it. Overexposure to blue light from your phone can have a negative impact on your health, but there’s plenty you can do to limit it. Stay safe!
For more info about blue light glasses and how they work, head here