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What is blue light and why is it bad for your eyes?

What is blue light and why is it bad for your eyes?


by Nutritionist Jaden


Living in the digital age, you are constantly exposed to blue light, whether indoors or outdoors, which can affect and cause damage to your vision. Sources of blue light include:

  • Sunlight
  • Computer
  • Smart phone
  • Television
  • LED lights

Blue light is the part of the visible spectrum that contains the highest energy. Almost all visible blue light travels through the cornea and lens to the retina. Because of its short, high energy wavelength, it scatters more easily and is less focused. This results in reduced visual contrast, which can lead to digital eye strain.

Symptoms of digital eye strain include dry eyes, eye fatigue, headaches, and blurred vision. Long-term overexposure to blue light increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss.

Additionally, blue light disrupts the body's natural sleep-wake cycle. It suppresses the production of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, making it difficult for you to get a good night's sleep. You may have lower concentration if you are having poor sleep quality.

Blue light damage affects people at all ages, from infants to the elderly, and we all should consciously reduce screen time. Blue light damage has become a concern as children's screen time increases. The screen time guideline by World Health Organization (WHO) recommends children under 2 years old to be screen-free at all, and children aged 2 – 5 years old should be not more than 1 hour a day, less is better. When sedentary, engaging in reading and storytelling with a caregiver is encouraged.

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