Big Bad Bluelight

dr kash flashlight

When talking about blue light, we have to look at the electromagnetic spectrum which covers all possible wavelengths in the universe.  There are high energy gamma rays at one end which are strong enough to cause cancer, while at the opposite end, there are low energy rays which aren’t harmful to us.  And somewhere in between is visible light and colors.  Blue-violet light is the highest energy band within the visible spectrum and is sometimes referred to as HEV (high energy visible light).


visible spectrumHowever, let’s clarify the villainous status of blue light….it’s not all bad. There are both good and “bad” blue light, both beneficial and harmful. Blue-turquoise light is the good stuff, while blue-violet is the bad stuff. Blue-turquoise light is good for you as it aids in functioning of our sleep cycle, memory, and helps to preserve color perception.

Blue-violet light is the villain on the spectrum, presenting many risk factors to our eye health. This HEV light can produce various risk factors when it comes to eye health.  Long-term overexposure to HEV, or blue-violet light, can cause phototoxicity in the retina bringing about such disorders as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  And let’s face it, we are surrounded by blue light, most often bombarding our own selves with it on a daily basis without realizing the long-term effects it can have on us.

The sun is our primary source of natural blue light; however, we have a deluge of artificial blue light sources that we’re exposed to on a daily basis.  CFL and LED lighting, T.V.’s, computer screens, tablets, and smart phones are all artificial blue light sources.

Studies have shown that we spend an average of 10 hours a day or more on electronic devices! Children don’t stay behind, as it’s estimated they spend an average of 8 or more hours a day on electronic devices! Not only can this exposure to HEV be harmful for our eyes, but it can also disrupt our sleep patterns. No wonder your teenager woke up cranky this morning! She spent most of her time updating Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat while lying in bed, instead of unwinding and powering off the electronics for the night. glasses

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland (red) at night. It regulates the body's daily biological rhythm depending on luminosity as light regulates its secretion via a path involving the suprachiasmatic nucleus (green), the paraventricular nucleus (yellow) and the preganglionic sympathetic neurons.


Normally, the Pineal Gland, a pea-size organ in the brain, releases melatonin a few hours before we hit the hay by reducing alertness and getting us sleepy. But, leaving that T.V. on or being glued to your mobile device, which produce that pesky blue villain, keeps the Pineal Gland from doing its job causing us to get to sleep later and waking up feeling like zombies. Coffee I.V. anyone?! In conclusion, it’s pretty obvious we need to protect our beautiful peepers from this blue villain! Stay tuned for all your protection options!…


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