What is Blue Light, and Why Should You Care About It?

From children in grade school to college students, “back to school” also often means “back to screen time.” And after a summer of swimming, vacationing, and playing outside, sitting at a computer to study or do homework for long periods of time isn’t exactly easy on a child’s eyes.

When the school year starts, it’s important to keep in mind the effect that this can have on children’s development, considering that increased screen time means increased exposure to blue light. Read on to find out more about blue light, how it affects our bodies, and why blue light filtering lenses should be on your back-to-school checklist.

All About Blue Light
All About Blue Light

All About Blue Light

All our devices — including tablets, smartphones, computers, and televisions — emit blue light, which is a type of light on the spectrum of what human eyes can see. But unlike most types of visible light, blue light has very high energy levels; the energy in blue light waves is actually similar to those in ultraviolet or UV rays, which are present in sunlight.

In fact, blue light is present in sunlight alongside UV rays, which is why it’s important to protect our eyes when we go outside. But if this is the case, should you also be protecting your eyes from the blue light produced by LED-backlit screens that have become so common in our lives?

How Can Blue Light Affect Us

Although blue light has been connected to increased alertness and enhanced brain functioning, there is such thing as “too much of a good thing.” Prolonged blue light exposure can affect your sleep patterns, especially if you’re using your devices before bedtime. How many times have you almost fallen asleep in front of the television at night, only to find you’re wide awake once you turn it off and climb into bed?

This idea extends to the rest of our devices, too. For kids who do their homework on a computer later in the evening, like after dinner or extracurriculars, it may take them longer to fall asleep after logging off because the blue light emitted by our screens makes us feel more awake. Children need a certain amount of sleep depending on their age, so trouble falling asleep can affect their overall development.

Consider Blue Light Filtering Eyewear for Back-to-School

When cutting down on screen time before bed isn’t an option, blue light filtering lenses may help mitigate the effects of blue light, allowing for easier sleep and a reduced risk of digital eye strain.

Alongside an annual eye exam and that new pair of frames your child has been looking forward to, consider adding a blue light filtering lens upgrade to your back-to-school checklist! If you have any questions or wish to schedule your family’s back-to-school eye exams at Midwest Vision Centers, request an appointment online today.