What is blue light?

Blue light is a harmful type of light that is most often seen in digital screens. When you regularly use devices like smartphones and computers, this blue light has a cumulative effect, causing both immediate and long-term damage to your eyes. This immediate damage can appear as eye strain, blurry vision or headaches with as little as a few hours of screen time.

Because our eyes have not evolved to filter this artificial light very well, repeated exposure can also cause lasting damage to your eyes, and may even speed up the aging process.
Where does blue light come from?
Newer television and computer screens use LED backlighting that emits some of the strongest blue light waves.
Fluorescent lights and energy-efficient light bulbs, like CFL and LED lights, give off significant amounts of blue light.
Cellphones, tablets and other ever-present devices are backlit LED, a main source of blue light.
A natural source of blue light, sunlight helps to regulate your body’s circadian rhythm.

The science behind blue light

Blue light falls at the far end of the visible light spectrum, right next to UV light. Light in this area of the spectrum is considered “high energy,” which is why blue light is sometimes referred to as HEV, or high-energy visible light. At these wavelengths, blue light can cause damage to your macula, which acts like built-in sunglasses for your eyes. Blue light can thin out the macula, weakening its ability to filter out harmful light.
Spectrum
Not all blue light has equal effects, however. The closer it falls to the end of the visible spectrum, the more risk it poses to your eye health. So blue-violet light, like the kind that comes from the LED screens of computers and smartphones, emits the highest energy blue light and causes the most damage to your macula. The sun gives off a natural form of blue light that appears blue-turquoise in the visible light spectrum. This has slightly lower energy and lower potential to cause damage, but, more importantly, our eyes are better able to filter out this natural source of blue light. With the big increase in LED screen usage in recent decades, our eyes are being asked to handle huge amounts of artificial blue light, putting a serious strain on our vision.

Screens are taking a toll

As digital natives, people in their 20’s and 30’s tend to have the greatest exposure to blue light. High exposure can lead to a variety of frustrating and uncomfortable symptoms, often collectively called “digital eye strain.” The extra work your eyes do to manage the absorption of blue light causes this strain, which can appear as tired and achy eyes, blurry vision, dry and irritated eyes or even headaches. If you find yourself rubbing your eyes or struggling to focus at the end of the day, there’s a good chance blue light is to blame.
67%
Of people in their 30s spend five or more hours each day on digital devices.

Keeping you up at night

Blue light can also disrupt our lives in even less obvious ways. It suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate our sleep and wake cycles. This makes it harder to fall asleep and can mean you’re more restless during the night.
Melatonin Production
Macula Diagram

Putting your vision at risk

The subtlest, but most serious risk of blue light is long-term damage to your macula. Over time, the thinning of your macula can accelerate your eyes’ aging process, leading to age-related macular degeneration. This disease often appears as blurred spots in your vision and, in some people, can advance to loss of vision.
The risks of blue light have been getting more and more notice in recent years. To learn more, explore our collection of articles.
Keep blue light at bay
There are ways to defend yourself against the many risks of blue light. A once daily Blue Guard supplement can help protect your eyes 24/7, but the best protection comes from using a variety of blue light solutions. These are just some of the ways you can cut down on your own exposure.
Give ‘em a break
Eye
Taking breaks when you’re working on a computer or other screen can help prevent eye strain. One good strategy is to look 20 feet away, every 20 minutes and keep it up for at least 20 seconds.
Tone it down
Eye
You can reduce the amount of blue light your device is giving off with screen filters. These color filters change your screen to a warmer, less blue, tone. You can find screen filters in your device’s settings or download a screen filter app.
Block it out
Eye
Like indoor sunglasses, blue light blocking glasses filter out a lot of blue light before it even reaches your eyes. But since they can only help while you’re wearing them, it’s important to pair glasses with other blue light defenses to get more thorough protection.
Take your vitamins
Eye
Blue Guard eye health supplements boost your eyes natural defenses. By strengthening your eyes, Blue Guard offers non-stop protection from the risks of blue light.
Learn how Blue Guard can help protect your eyes from blue light.