Blue light’s effect unclear

Cristina Ray'21, Business Manager

The topic of blue light and its actual impact, whether positive or negative, is still widely discussed and there have been numerous studies but no conclusion yet. Because of this, I don’t have a firm stance, but simply a perspective. 

Many claim blue light is bad for your eyes and sleep, while others will say it is necessary for a good night’s rest. Harvard Health states, “Blue wavelengths—which are beneficial during daylight hours because they boost attention, reaction times, and mood—seem to be the most disruptive at night. And the proliferation of electronics with screens, as well as energy-efficient lighting, is increasing our exposure to blue wavelengths, especially after sundown.” 

Sophomore Kaleb Bennett said, “it can affect you negatively because those retinal cells can die from too much exposure to blue light and because it has the potential to alter your circadian rhythm.” This opinion is backed by multiple online sources.

Oakdale Leader explained the reason why one must be wary of blue light: “While research as to how blue light impacts vision is ongoing, there is concern over the long-term effects of screen exposure since these screens are in close proximity to the eyes and use is often prolonged. Prevent Blindness America says that studies suggest continued exposure to blue light over time can lead to difficulty focusing, premature aging of the eyes and even damage to retinal cells.”

As previously established, various people have different stances on blue light and what the truth is. A few were certain it has some damaging effects while the rest were unmoved and believed it is potentially completely safe. 

Junior Anthony Hernandez pointed out, “I personally believe that blue light is not a health threat to us or our eyes. It’s in everyday devices we use such as phones, tv screens, computers, and even tablets that are given or made for kids.” 

Junior Naya Emily added, “blue light doesn’t have a negative affect towards individuals. Studies have shown that high energy visible light can be a boost to being alert.”

Bennett articulated, “it can affect you negatively because those retinal cells can die from too much exposure to blue light and because it has the potential to alter your circadian rhythm.”

An instance of a possible effect from the blue light of phones is when in October of 2019, a Chinese man was playing games on his phone with the lights off and before he knew it, he was temporarily blinded. The Sun reported, “Wang rushed to the doctors where they diagnosed him with … an ‘eye stroke.’ Wang’s doctor, Lei Tao, said Wang’s temporarily blindness was caused by an ‘overuse of electronic items,’ which can lead to “excessive strain on vision’.” 

Apple has added a “night shift” feature which makes the screen an orangish-yellow hue. It is said that warmer colors may disrupt sleep even more than blue light and that red light is recommended. Using the correct light can aid in finally sleeping peacefully in the future. 

Business Insider found, “Previous studies have found that blue light is harmful, but researchers from the University of Toledo say it can make molecules ‘toxic.’ The team found that shining blue light on eye cells transforms vital molecules into a cell-killing poison that can lead to age-related macular degeneration, one of the biggest causes of blindness worldwide.

“We are being exposed to blue light continuously, and the eye’s cornea and lens cannot block or reflect it,” claimed Ajith Karunarathne.