Every day our eyes are exposed to different colors of light. Similar to the color spectrum, every color has a unique wavelength. When we talk about visible light, we’re actually talking about a collection of wavelengths of varying lengths, for example blue light has short wavelengths, whereas red has long wavelengths. Each color can have a different impact on our eyes and eye care.

Blue light is a particularly beneficial part of the light spectrum, helping us regulate our biological clock so we know when to sleep and when to wake up. Blue light therapy can also assist with SAD, a type of depression resulting from lack of daylight, and can even be effective as an antidepressant. The good that comes from “blue light,” however, may be diminished by our overexposure to it, largely because of the daily use of digital devices and LEDs and exposure to fluorescent bulbs.

While blue light boosts attention and mood during the day, exposure to blue light at night reduces melatonin secretion and disrupts the circadian rhythm of alertness and sleepiness, which also helps regulate memory, mood and hormonal balance. Delayed production of melatonin due to blue light exposure could be causing even more problems than insomnia, including blood pressure, diabetes and migraine headaches while generating considerable retinal stress and toxicity. A good way to reduce the amount of negative effects of blue light would be to lessen the amount of time spent using devices that produce blue light, such as computer screens, smart phones and many other devices we use on a daily basis. If your job requires that you sit in front of a computer all day, a good way to reduce the amount of blue light is to use a screen filter. Screen filters for computers are one way to reduce the impact of blue light. You can also substitute white fluorescent tubes and LED lights with warm white tubes, halogen lights or incandescent lamps. Reducing the use of cellphones, tablets and laptop computers right before bed should also help to minimize negative effects of blue light that. Be aware that “black light” tubes common in night clubs and bars can also give off potentially harmful blue light.

Other colored lights that can have an effect on your eyes are green lights and yellow lights. Green lights can help regulate the circadian rhythm. Overexposure to green light at night, as with blue light, can reset the clock, throwing off the natural rhythm. Yellow light, has been proven effective in protecting the retinas of patients exposed to excessive blue light, since it offers the best contrast. Sunglasses with yellow lenses can be very effective in filtering out not only UV but blue light too. The lens of the eye naturally takes on a yellowish ting with age, to help filter out blue light.

For assistance in finding lenses to properly filter out UV and near UV blue light, please contact us at 877-871-1684 to schedule an appointment.

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