Beaming Blue Light


Harvard Health

Blue light has many unfortunate side effects, but is still very necessary to modern life.

Amelia McCrory, Columnist

Due to the unfortunate circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, many have found themselves spending an excessive amount of screen time for work and social interaction. Although this technology has helped us connect, it has led to many worries about the unhealthy amount of contact with blue light. According to BluTech, “blue light is a color in the visible light spectrum that can be seen by human eyes. Blue light is a short wavelength, which means it produces higher amounts of energy.” This energy can not only cause eye damage, but also insomnia, headaches, and eyestrain. 

Prevent Blindness shares that blue light can be found in the following:

  • Fluorescent light
  • CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs
  • LED light
  • Flatscreen LED televisions
  • Computer monitors, smart phones, and tablet screens

As blue light is incorporated into our daily routines, we find that it has a strong correlation to our eye health. Prevent Blindness states, “almost all visible blue light passes through the cornea and lens and reaches the retina. This light may affect vision and could prematurely age the eyes.” This destruction could eventually lead to blindness or unnecessary eye damage at a young age. 

Due to the blue light from computer screens or mobile devices having little contrast, eyestrain can transpire. From this, symptoms could arise, including sore and irritated eyes. Other factors worsening symptoms include, fatigue, dark lighting, and posture. Similarly, the blue light has the ability to cause long lasting damage to critical eye cells. To give textual evidence Wexner Medical concludes, “one animal study showed blue light can cause toxicity to retina photosensitive cells, which are irreplaceable.” This once again displays the importance of protecting our own eyes to the dangers of blue lights. Some beneficial solutions include limited screen-time, anti-reflective lenses, and filters.  

Although there are many physical solutions to blue light damage, some ways to limit the effects could include managing screen brightness and time online. All in all, blue light has its downsides, but with some changes technology can be a beneficial tool.