Blue Light: The Dark Side of Technology

Blue Light: The Dark Side of Technology

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How bad can blue light be? As much as you’d like to brush it aside as something trivial, you’ve heard doctors and teachers talk about it. You’ve seen advertisements that claim blue light can cause anything from dry eyes to sleep cycle disruption. And yet, you feel fine after watching your favorite show for 5 hours on end. So, what is the science behind these claims about blue light?

First, let’s talk about just what blue light is. Blue light is one of the colors in the visible light spectrum, with the others being red, orange, yellow, green, indigo, and violet. It has higher energy than many other colors – it’s closer to ultraviolet than it is to infrared. 

The supposed effects of blue light can vary greatly, with some of the most common ones being dry eyes and digital eye strain. Another one would be how blue light throws off your circadian rhythm or sleep cycle. It stimulates your brain into waking up when it should be winding down. Additionally, blue light has also been stated to raise the risk of certain cancers and depression. 

Now, back to the question: should you worry about blue light? Unfortunately, the answer depends on who you ask. 

The American Academy of Ophthalmology points out that “there is no evidence that the kind or amount of light coming from computer screens is damaging to the eyes.” Rather, they argue that harmful effects come from the overuse of digital devices. Long hours at a screen can cause eye strain, and the decreased blinking associated with computer use can cause dry eyes.

On the other hand, an article written by WebMD claims that there’s evidence that blue light could lead to permanent vision changes. They state that “almost all blue light passes straight through to the back of the retina… [increasing] the risk of macular degeneration.” In addition to that, the article goes on to list several other harmful effects of blue light.

So in conclusion, most people believe that blue light is harmful. But who you decide to believe is up to you entirely; although my one cent says that it’s better to be safe than sorry.