What is blue light and how can it affect my eyes?

There is some evidence to suggest that a lifetime's exposure to high levels of blue and UV light, such blue light from LEDs and the screens of electrical devices, may mean an increased risk of the eye condition age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in later life. This is life-long exposure and is thought to add up over the years. There is currently no evidence that blue light can worsen AMD in the short term. More information on risk factors for AMD can be found on the AMD page on our website;

Studies of the harmful effects of blue light have not been conducted in humans, however studies in animals have shown that prolonged intense exposure to blue light does cause some retinal changes. It is not currently known exactly how these results translate in terms of risk in humans.

Artificial lighting found in the home and office gives out much lower levels of UV and blue light than that from natural daylight. We recommend that everyone should wear a good pair of sunglasses in sunny conditions whether or not they have an eye problem as part of looking after their eye health. Wearing sunglasses, glasses or contact lenses with built-in UV filter will protect your eyes. Only buy sunglasses that have a CE mark or carry British Standard BSEN 1836:1997.

More information on sunglasses can be found on our Protect your eyes from the sun page.

For more information and advice about eye health and other topics please contact our Helpline on:

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