Blue Light and the Eye

Blue light forms the short wavelength part of the visible electromagnetic spectrum and generally is a vital part of everyday life. As it enters the atmosphere it is scattered creating our wonderful blue skies. It triggers signals to our brain that it is daytime and so should be awake, or as it goes that night is coming. Also… light is everywhere

However, as it is also higher in energy it easily penetrates to the back of the eyes where the body has to process this energy. It also scatters on the systems of the eye which can lead to glare and eye strain. Being the key to our body clock (or circadian rhythms) changes in blue light exposure can have an impact on our sleep pattern.


What can I do?

In short, quite a lot.

As many of us spend 10 hours or more in front of some sort of digital device and in-between might be outside, it is impossible to avoid blue light. We can easily minimise its effects. 

  • Sunglasses 
    Wearing a good pair of sunglasses will reduce the eyes exposure to both blue and the even shorter, more energy rich ultra-violet light.

  • Supplements 
    Taking a supplement rich in lutein and zeaxanthin will build levels of macular pigments at the back of the eye. This pigment is yellow in colour and helps absorb blue light while the antioxidant effect avoids the creation of excess free-radicals.

  • Screen protectors 
    To avoid the eyes being overstimulated by light from digital devices, especially phones and tablet computers, apply a screen protector that cuts down blue light emissions. Developed by an optometrist, these easy to apply screen protectors also reduce the amount of blue light emitted without affecting the screen colour (unlike many built-in apps).


..and sleep!!! 

All these steps should help keep your eyes in good shape and ensure you have a good night's sleep. 


Blue Light videos and downloads


How much is too much?

Most parents worry how much time their child is spending on digital devices.

This fact sheet produced by the Association of Optometrists (AOP) helps give you the facts about screen time.


The digital world

As we stare at digital screens all day long, we are being exposed to increasing amounts of blue light.

The overuse of computers, tablets, e-readers, smartphones and other electronic devices can cause digital eye strain and eye fatigue. 

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