Can Blue Light trigger headaches?

 4 min read

Some of the insanely busy lifestyles that we lead will occasionally make us experience headaches or waves of fatigue. However, if this pain is continuous, the problem might be due to the overexposure of artificial blue light, which is causing your eye to strain a lot or Digital eye strain (DES).  Digital eye strain is the name given to the not-so-pleasant symptoms arising from exposure to excessive screen time. For example, a feeling of irritability, insomnia, fatigue, or even a throbbing headache.

While the blue light emitted from the sun has for long been beneficial to us, the recent surge in the integration of digital devices in our lives has exposed us to greater quantities of blue light compared to other generations. This increased exposure is believed to have a number of negative effects. For example, research states that overexposure to artificial blue light will disrupt an individual's sleep cycle. While the sun's blue light keeps us awake during the day, artificial blue light is bound to keep us awake at night. For example, you might start scrolling through Facebook after getting to bed only to find out it is 4 am in the morning. However, it is important to ask whether exposure to blue light can be the cause of chronic headaches.

Many researchers have expressed interest in this area of study in trying to figure out some of the potential effects of this new phenomenon. For example, according to the American Optometric Association, symptoms of digital eye strain include neck and shoulder pain, dry eyes, blurred vision, headaches, and eye strains.

When conducting research on 69 study participants suffering from migraines in 2016, the Harvard Medical School researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre exposed them to an array of lights involving the red, amber, green and blue light to check which would worsen their headaches.

Light makes everything worse when one is suffering from a migraine and will often be forced to retreat to a dark room for that pain to dissipate. The study revealed that the blue light would increase the participant's pain as the red and blue light are known to generate the largest signals in the cortex and retina. With blue light being a high-energy color, it is not surprising that we are susceptible to it and its effects.

While we will find ourselves glued to a screen watching or scrolling through a social media feed, it is not uncommon that we will develop painful headaches. To prevent this, it would be wise if you considered getting a special type of lens for your glasses. Learn more about our lenses technology here.