Can Infrared Light Hurt Your Eyes? – Doctor’s Advice 2020

Popularly referred to as heat radiation, electromagnetic radiation is found outside the light spectrum’s visible part. Even though the infrared light cannot be seen with the naked eyes, the energy it produces is almost similar to the amounts required by molecules to move from one point to another. 

We categorize the electromagnetic spectrum in terms of frequency and wavelength. Long-wavelength radiations are less harmful since they have lower energy levels. Examples of long-wavelength radiations include microwaves and radio waves. On the other hand, short-wavelength radiation is hazardous since they have high energy levels. Examples of such radiations include gamma and x-rays. But then, can infrared light hurt your eyes? Let’s learn more about it below.

Can Infrared Light Hurt Your Eyes?

This is a question most people have yearned to get an answer to, but yet there hasn’t been a clear response. So, can infrared light hurt your eyes? Yes, this is quite possible. There is a weak and strong infrared light. Strong infrared radiations have high energy levels and may be dangerous to the eyes at large. Strong infrared light can cause damage or even blindness if the extent of damage is high. 

Can infrared light hurt your eyes

Infrared light features long wavelengths, and they are invisible to naked eyes. Too much absorption of infrared light burns the eyes tissues. Infrared light is grouped into three; this is infrared a, b, and c. These subdivisions cause different eye problems at large. The infrared an, in this case, causes damage to the retina. Infrared b damages the lens, cornea, and iris, while infrared c damages the cornea. 

Since this form of light can hurt eyes, you must take precautionary measures not to fall victim to eye problems at large. You need to use the special infrared proof goggles whenever you handle tasks that might expose your naked eyes to it.

What Is the Effect of Infrared on The Human Eye?

Too much exposure to infrared light can damage the tissues of the eyes. However, it is on rare occasions we get exposed to this form of light at large. Only too intense infrared light can cause harm to the eyes. Since infrared light is not visible with the naked eyes, it is advisable to avoid absorbing the radiation whenever it shines into the eyes. In cases the radiation is exceptionally too much, they can lead to irreversible damage to the eyes’ tissues. 

In the market, you will find the incandescent bulbs and infrared lamps at large. Can they harm your eyes? Probably no. This is because they are less powerful, and they have low energy levels to damage the eyes’ tissues. However, you shouldn’t stare at them directly for a long period. Extended periods of staring might damage the tissues, especially to young people, and can even lead to blindness. 

Studies also show that at power levels, even infrared light with low intensity can damage the eyes. People have a blink reflex that protects them from stray light that might shine on their eyes. The blink reflex enables an individual to shut the eyes to prevent any bright light from damaging the tissues.

Powerful lasers like the acurite digital indoor outdoor thermometer are designed with safety classifications that form a heavy cover to protect you from the radiations even before the blink reflex happens to protect the eyes from being damaged. Since the IR radiations don’t trigger the blink reflex, individuals are exposed to it, thus damaging the eye tissues.  

Why Can’t Human Eyes Detect Infrared Light?

The retina of the human eye only detects light incidents in waves between 400 to around 720 nanometers. This is why we cannot see ultraviolet or microwave wavelengths since their lengths don’t fall under these limits. On the other hand, the infrared lights have longer wavelengths than visible and, at the same time, shorter than the microwaves. This makes it invisible with naked eyes. 

The human body and the warm-blooded animals, in general, emit infrared radiation at large. There are few cold-blooded animals, such as snakes, that have infrared radiation vision. Human eyes can detect more things than just light. However, there are limits that our naked eyes can’t detect or see.

We are able only to see the visible spectrum. We can only clearly see the color shades of the rainbow. Our naked eyes cannot see shorter or longer light wavelengths since they don’t excite the eyes receptors. Humans cannot see anything that is past the red and violet shades in the spectrum of light.

However, other animals and insects can see beyond the light spectrum’s red and violet colors with all these said. For instance, the bees can distinguish and see ultraviolet light beyond the violet in the light spectrum. On the other hand, the snakes have infrared radiation vision that enables them to see the light beyond red light in the light spectrum. 

With all these said, the invisible light beyond red and violet are useful in technology. For instance, tv remotes use infrared light to pass signals without wires to help change stations at large. There are several applications of infrared radiation that make it impossible to do without it. 

Sophisticated technology can be employed to detect infrared radiation emissions. For instance, infrared thermal imagers can detect infrared energy emitted by the human body, even in total darkness. An alternative to thermal imagers is the acurite digital indoor outdoor thermometer. They are designed with sophisticated optics to enable them to measure infrared radiation emitted by a body.

Final Verdict

So, can infrared light hurt your eyes? Infrared radiation serves several applications at large. They include the generation of infrared radiation for night vision, IR heating, and also IR astronomy, among other applications. 

However, these useful radiations can be dangerous to you. They harm the eyes, and therefore you should ensure you protect the eyes with special infrared proof goggles.

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