In this age, we are constantly exposed to blue light from our screens. Even though we know it bothers us sometimes, it might be causing additional problems we were not aware of until now.
New research from Oregon State University suggests that prolonged exposure to blue light can cause us to age faster. The study claims that blue light can affect our lifespan even when we are not looking straight into a screen.
The study used fruit flies for the experiment, and claims that wavelengths produced by diodes can damage our brain and retina cells. Researchers examined how the flies responded to 12 hours of exposure to blue LED light, and found out that the light sped up aging. Flies that were exposed to 12 hours of light before 12 hours of darkness had shorter life spans than flies who were exposed to 12 hours of light with blue wavelengths filtered out followed by 12 hours of darkness. The flies which were exposed to the blue light suffered damage to retinal cells and brain neurons and were also unable to perform some everyday activities, like climbing the walls.
Researchers also used some mutant flies, which had no eyes, in the experiment, and found out that even the flies with no eyes suffered damage from the blue light. This suggested that the flies don’t have to see the light to be affected by it.
For our bodies to function correctly, natural light is essential, as it is crucial for our circadian rhythm. Light plays an integral part in our sleep schedules, feeding habits, hormones, and cell regulation. However, increased exposure to artificial light, especially the ones with a high percentage of blue light can be harmful. LED lights and display, which emit a high fraction of blue light, haven’t been around for long enough to see the effects they have on our lifespans.
Until technology provides us with better light, which doesn’t use as much blue light, there are things you can do to avoid blue lights. There are eyeglasses with amber lenses, which filter out the blue light of screens. You can also use night mode on your devices, which will block the blue emissions. Consider even replacing your bedroom bulbs with an item like Bedtime Bulb.