Over the past week, the term ‘BLUE LIGHT’ has been splashed across the internet in bold lettering following the breaking news that it can seriously damage your health.
According to a newly released study, this damaging blue light not only kills retinal cells and contributes to age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), but it could also double a man’s risk of prostate cancer or a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer.
What is blue light and where is it found?
You’re likely to find that you’re exposed to blue light multiple times a day. Everyday devices like cell phones, computer screens and even street lamps emit blue light.
Why is it damaging?
A newly released study, which was conducted by an optical chemistry researcher at The University of Toledo, examines the effect that blue light exposure can have on the retina. The study has found that extended exposure to blue light emitted by your mobile turns molecules in the eye’s retina into poisonous cell killers, a process which can cause macular degeneration – one of the biggest causes of blindness.
And now, a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives reveals that blue light exposure could also double a man’s risk of prostate cancer or increase a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer by 1.5 times.
How can we help ourselves?
Doctors involved in the study have said that you should avoid looking at your phone, tablet or desktop in the dark, and wear sunglasses that filter UV and blue light when you’re outside.
In addition, companies have begun to introduce a blue-light filter to their mobile phone and laptop screens. You can switch yours on by following the steps below:
Step 1: Head to the general settings area on your phone
Step 2: Click the ‘Display and Brightness’ or simply ‘Display’, whichever your phone lists.
Step 3: Select the ‘Night Shift’, ‘Blue Light Filter’ or similar. Most phones will have some variety of this. From here, you will be able to customise your blue light settings and set a schedule that suits you e.g. night time only, all day etc.
Windows 10 and MacOS have their own blue light filters and there are a number of third-party apps that you can use as well.
Step 1: Open up the settings menu by searching for it in the Windows 10 search box, or press the Windows key and “X” and then click “Settings.”
Step 2: Choose “System” from the menu.
Step 3: Select “Display” from the left-hand menu if it isn’t already.
Step 4: Toggle the “Night light” to on.
Step 1: Open “System Preferences.”
Step 2: Select “Displays,” then click on the “Night Shift” tab.
Third Party Apps:
F.lux is one of the most popular tools for reducing blue light exposure – best of all it’s completely free!
Redshift is another popular blue light-reducing application that adjusts the color of your screen according to the position of the sun in your location.
SunsetScreen allows you to set the time of the sunset and sunrise, so you can have full control over your sleep cycle. SunsetScreen is also free to download.