What is a Blue Light Filter?
We are all aware of just how dangerous unnatural sources of blue light can be. Blue light reaches a part of our eyes that is so deep that it can damage the retinas inside of the eyes over time. It can also cause a lot of eye strain and mental fatigue, both of which impact your overall ability to work and have fun. Luckily, blue light filters claim to be able to solve all of these problems. But, what are they?
Blue Light: The Facts
Blue light exists as part of our electromagnetic spectrum. Each of the colors in the spectrum has a different wavelength and each wavelength emits a different amount of energy.
Blue light has a relatively short wavelength and short wavelengths are known to emit a lot of energy, whereas rays at the opposite end of the spectrum (the red side) have longer wavelengths and emit less energy.
You might be wondering what you can do to avoid blue light altogether, but that isn't really an option. Sunlight contains blue light and blue light is actually the thing that makes our sky look blue. But, there are also a lot of unnatural forms of blue light. These include fluorescent lights, flat-screen televisions, computer screens, smartphones, and a number of other electronic devices.
One of the main problems that we experience due to blue light is a form of digital eyestrain. This occurs because blue light scatters a lot and makes it hard for our eyes to focus on the source. Scientists have also found that most people simply ignore digital eyestrain, brushing it off as "just one of those things" and carrying on with whatever it is that they were doing.
One of the most worrying things about blue light is that it also affects our circadian rhythm, our sleep and wake cycle.
If the only blue light that we were exposed to was from the sun, then that would be fine. But, we are exposed to a lot of blue light from unnatural sources after the sun has gone down. This stops our brains from producing as much melatonin, the sleep hormone, as they otherwise would, and makes it much more difficult for us to sleep.
Regardless of all of this, blue light is also beneficial for us. A lot of research has been done into the topic and it has found that blue light makes us much more alert, helps us to remember new information and increases our reaction times.
Blue light is also used frequently to treat SAD, the seasonal affective disorder where people experience low moods when they are exposed to less sunlight.
The Blue Light Filter
When it comes to blue light filters, there are two different options that most people are willing to consider. They come in the form of screen protectors that cover the source of the blue light and glasses that cover your eyes to reduce their exposure to blue light.
Everyone would benefit from using at least one of those filters to protect their eyes. For example, if you work in an office building and use a computer for most of the day, then you would benefit from using a screen protector that you can simply place over the screen of your computer. This will help reduce the amount of blue light that can reach your eyes.
Blue light filters like this can be used on your phone, tablet, computer screen and even your television in order to prevent a large proportion of the blue light that is being emitted from them from ever reaching your eyes. It is worth noting that a lot of different blue light filters are made out of tempered glass, meaning that they can also protect the devices that they are covering.
Blue light-blocking computer glasses are special-purpose glasses that you can get without the need to see an optician. These glasses can also be worn if you routinely wear something like contact lenses.
A lot of different blue light blocking glasses are also capable of reducing glare and making sure that things do not reflect off of them, protecting you from both natural sunlight and blue light.
It is worth noting that you can also purchase things like anti-blue lightbulbs to protect yourself inside of your home. This is especially useful if you find yourself turning your lights on a lot at night.
Try to remember that, while not all exposure to blue light is bad, constant exposure to unnatural sources of blue light can be incredibly detrimental to both our physical and mental health.
Blue light filters should be used as a precautionary measure to protect your eyes, especially in the digital era that we all live in. Unfortunately, we cannot afford to go wrong with our eyes and unnatural exposure to blue light is not worth the risks that come with it.