Have you heard about blue light? It's high-energy visible light with a very high-frequency, which has a number of biological effects, including affecting your eyes and skin due to long exposure. Blue light has a shorter wavelength, meaning it produces higher amounts of energy. Constant and prolonged exposure can potentially increase your risk of macular (eye) degeneration. The more blue light exposure, the worse your vision will get over time. This wavelength of light actually penetrates all the way down to your retina (the innermost lining of your eye). Too much exposure can also cause damage to light-sensitive cells located in your retina.
Blue light mainly comes from your electronics. That's right, phones, tablets, TV's, computers, etc and we can't escape it. The average American spends around 12 hours daily exposed to blue light. Even worse, it can mess with your sleeping pattern by stimulating your eyes, making it harder to produce melatonin and fall fast asleep. It doesn't stop at electronics, the Sun also produces blue light, another great reason to wear sunscreen daily (no matter the weather).
In terms of blue light damage to skin, it causes wrinkles to form at a faster rate, sun spots, or hyperpigmentation, sensitivity + increased redness. It's strong enough to deeply penetrate down to the dermis, the bottom layer of your skin. Using topical antioxidant serums and creams along with mineral sunscreen will help slow this down. Remember wearing a hat will also provide so many benefits + perfect to toss on after a sweat sesh.
Blue light isn't all that bad though! Because it's produced by the Sun, this wavelength of light will regulate our circadian rhythm, provides an increase in alertness and improves your cognitive function. This is why experts say not to keep a TV in the bedroom and to set down the device at least an hour before bedtime. Pro tip: set your devices to turn on Night Mode, which helps eliminate some of the blue light, dimming down the screen and colors.
How do you know if your eyes are already affected by blue light? If you notice your eyes are sore, dry, itchy, and red not due to allergies you might be too exposed to blue light. This could also lead to an increase in headaches, sore shoulders and neck, blurry vision, trouble sleeping or trouble falling asleep. Try purchasing blue light glasses to better protect your eyes from daily damage. There might even be some screen protectors out there that limit blue light exposure as well.
Don't look at bright screens in a dark room, this can increase eye strain. Instead, set the mood with a salt lamp for dim lighting. Simply lower your electronics brightness, this is very helpful for your eyes and the device's battery life. Be mindful of how long you're looking at a screen, every 20 minutes stare at something for 20 seconds that's 20 feet away to help eye strain (20-20-20 rule). Try using eye drops daily or at least three times a week to lubricate and prevent itchy eyes. Taking supplements like fish oils and omega 3's will improve eye health as well. Just be sure to always consult your doctor before taking any supplemts.
Let's be honest, we spend so many hours of our life in front of screens and exposed to harmful blue light. You will always be subject to exposure, the question is, how are you going to be preventative? Time to elevate your eye health to change your life (and maybe even improve your vision).