WHAT IS BLUE LIGHT?
ARE YOU EXPOSED TO BLUE LIGHT?
Blue light is everywhere in our world. It used to be that the only source of blue light with enough intensity to decrease melatonin production was from the sun. Now we have brought that same rich band of blue light inside by way of digital screens, electronic devices, and all things LED.
Where is Blue Light?
- Fluorescent light
- CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs
- LED light
- Flat screen LED televisions
- Computer monitors, smart phones, and tablet screens
Why the sky is blue?
To understand why the sky is blue, we need to consider the nature of sunlight, and how it interacts with the gas molecules that make up our atmosphere. Sunlight, which appears white to the human eye, is a mixture of all the colors of the rainbow. For many purposes, sunlight can be thought of as an electromagnetic wave that causes the charged particles (electrons and protons) inside air molecules to oscillate up and down as the sunlight passes through the atmosphere. When this happens, the oscillating charges produce electromagnetic radiation at the same frequency as the incoming sunlight, but spread over all different directions. This redirecting of incoming sunlight by air molecules is called scattering.
The blue component of the spectrum of visible light has shorter wavelengths and higher frequencies than the red component. Thus, as sunlight of all colors passes through air, the blue part causes charged particles to oscillate faster than does the red part. The faster the oscillation, the more scattered light is produced, so blue is scattered more strongly than red. For particles such as air molecules that are much smaller than the wavelengths of visible light, the difference is dramatic. The acceleration of the charged particles is proportional to the square of the frequency, and the intensity of scattered light is proportional to the square of this acceleration. Scattered light intensity is therefore proportional to the fourth power of frequency. The result is that blue light is scattered into other directions almost 10 times as efficiently as red light.
When we look at an arbitrary point in the sky away from the sun, we see only the light that was redirected by the atmosphere into our line of sight. Because that occurs much more often for blue light than for red, the sky appears blue. Violet light is actually scattered even a bit more strongly than blue. More of the sunlight entering the atmosphere is blue than violet, however, and our eyes are somewhat more sensitive to blue light than to violet light, so the sky appears blue.
Scientific American, Anthony D. Del Genio - NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies & Columbia University
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BLUE LIGHT?
Blue light is needed for good health:
- It regulates circadian rhythm – the body's natural wake and sleep cycle. Exposure to blue light during daytime hours helps maintain a healthful circadian rhythm. Too much exposure to blue light late at night (through smart phones, tablets, and computers) can disturb the wake and sleep cycle, leading to problems sleeping and daytime tiredness.
- Not enough exposure to sunlight in children could affect the growth and development of the eyes and vision. Early studies show a deficiency in blue light exposure could contribute to the recent increase in myopia/nearsightedness.
How Does Blue Light Affect the Eyes?
Blue light scatter causes haze and blur, resulting in eye strain and fatigue. Why? Because the human eye is sensitive to a narrow band of light frequencies called the visible light spectrum. Blue light has the shortest wavelengths, highest energy, and consists of about 25% of all visible light. Our eyes’ natural filters do not provide sufficient protection against blue light. The blue light passes through the cornea and the lens of the eye and makes it to the retina in the back of the eye. Children are more sensitive to blue light because the crystalline lens in their eye is young and has not built up enough 'yellowing' that occurs as we age to protect them.
Digital devices emit significant amounts of blue light, and as a society, we spend more and more time in front of them. The high-energy blue light waves scatter more in the eye, and it’s not as easy to focus. This inability to focus cause eye strain and fatigue, and it reduces contrast, causing blur and hazing.
Gamer Advantage lenses reduce the amount of high-energy blue light that makes it to the back of the eye and do so without distorting color perception. The technology built into the Gamer Advantage lens absorbs the blue light, rather than just reflecting it away as some other lens products do.
How Does Blue Light Disrupt your Sleep?
Your body’s biological clock (also known as your circadian rhythm) influences how much melatonin is produced, and so does the amount of blue light that you're exposed to each day. Our light-sensing cells in our eyes tell our brain when to start and stop melatonin production and are disrupted by blue light from digital devices and LEDs at the 455nm level. Blue light from LEDs, especially at night, disrupt our natural sleep patterns by telling our brain we are outdoors in the sun causing your body to feel awake. This, in turn, negatively impacts your sleep, health, productivity, and decreases reaction time.
All About Vision: Blue Light: Bad for Your Eyes?
American Optometric Association: Light and Eye Damage
The Vision Council: Digital Eye Strain
What Can You Do to Protect Your Eyes from Blue Light?
An easy way to counteract the effects of blue light and improve performance is to counteract the intense blue light from LED and digital screens. Gamer Advantage near-clear lenses do this without distorting color. Our lenses target blue light emitted from these devices at its peak (455nm), whereas many gaming glasses only block blue light from fluorescent lighting (which is an entirely different spectrum of blue). We infuze a naturally occurring blue light filtering ocular pigment into our lenses which are clinically proven to naturally improve sleep and increase melatonin levels by 96% (in just 5 days), while improving cognition by 47% (using pattern comparison test).
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Information on blue light is courtesy of preventblindness.org