Blue light: the good and the bad
A particular spectrum of blue light (in the turquoise range) may have some real benefits. Some studies show it does good things for your sleep patterns1, and it may help fight the “winter blues” (there are even lights designed to help based on this exact theory)2. There’s also some evidence blue light could help reduce the development of myopia (near-sightedness)3.
There are also several studies suggesting blue light could be a risk factor for macular degeneration – but it has a far smaller impact than exposure to sunlight, smoking and age4. The American Academy of Ophthalmologists has even said there is no evidence blue light causes any irreversible damage to our eyes5.
But. (Yes, there’s always a but.) Blue light can affect melatonin levels and change your sleep patterns; that’s a well-established fact6. And when it comes to the digital eye strain we get from being glued to our screens, poorer screen contrast due to blue light does make that strain worse.
Symptoms of digital eye strain include:
- dry, itchy, burning or red eyes
- blurred vision
- neck, shoulder and back pain.