Will a Candle Hurt My Eyes?
If you’ve been staring at your candles in your home or practising some candlelit meditation, you might be wondering if candles could damage your eyes when looking at them for a long period.
Candles cannot damage your eyes but could cause eye fatigue if you focus on them for a long time, the light produced itself however is not strong enough to do any damage.
We’ve composed a small guide below which will take you through what kind of light can hurt your eyes, some benefits you can get from looking at a candle as well as the other negative effects candles can have on your health.
What Kind Of Light Can Hurts Your Eyes?
A candle flame itself is not a strong enough light source to cause any eye damage, but if you are worried about your vision there are some other light sources to be careful of if you want to avoid retina damage, we’ve listed them below to help you out.
- UV Rays – UV rays are the strongest type of light and can cause long-term damage to your vision, UV-A and UV-B are the types of rays to look out for, which is why you should never look directly at the sun or wear sunglasses to block them out.
- Blue light – Blue light can also cause permanent eyeball damage over time, this is called macular degeneration, you should also avoid blue light before bed as it can disrupt your sleeping.
Benefits Of Looking At a Candle
You might be surprised to learn that there are several benefits to candle gazing that you might not have considered.
- They can help you sleep – Looking at a candle can help you sleep due to it being a low, warm light, not causing eye strain, just by looking at the candlelight it can help you unwind and relax.
- It can improve focus – Believe it or not, staring at a candle can strengthen your eye muscles and improve focus, it does this by keeping you in the present and focusing your mind on one object only.
- Can help with mood – Scented candles can help to boost your mood, for example, lavender is excellent for relaxation and winding down.
Negative Effects Of Lighting Candles
So now we know that candlelight can’t hurt eyes, you might be wondering if they have any other negative health effects which are worth knowing about.
We’ve listed a few of the negatives to do with lighting up a candle in your home below.
- They can release particulate matter – Burning candles in your home do release more particulate matter into the air which can make your air inside less pure, however is also produced by many other objects and devices inside.
- VOCs are produced – VOC’s are the gas that is released into the air by the candles when they burn, although it is in a low concentration, so is not considered harmful to your health. If you are concerned about the chemicals which come from your candle when burned it’s worth switching to naturally made candles from soy or beeswax.
- A fragrant candle can trigger asthma – Some fragrances in scented candles can trigger asthma in people, this could mean they are allergic to scented candles and would experience coughing or shallow breathing.
What Happens If Candle Wax Gets In My Eye?
If somehow you manage to get candle wax in your eye, not to worry, candle wax is not toxic to your vision, blink a few times then check your vision to see if the candle wax has done any damage to your vision.
Hot wax could potentially burn your cornea, you should always be careful when blowing out candles and keep your eyes covered if you are worried about wax flying into your eyes.
Frequently Asked Questions About Candles & Eye Damage
Which kind of light hurts eyes?
Certain types of UV rays such as sunlight can damage your vision as well as a blue light for long periods.
Can staring at a candle improve my vision?
Staring at a candle is unlike to improve your vision but it could help you to focus your eyes for periods.
Could a type of candle which is scented irritate my eyes?
A scented candle can irritate your eyes if you are allergic to the fragrance used inside of the candle, you might also have other symptoms such as cough.
Are scented candles bad for your health?
Scented candles are not regarded as bad for your health, but they can cause allergic reactions in some people, some fragrances used inside of candles can also be made synthetically which could burn chemicals into the air.
In conclusion, candles light cannot damage your eyes as the light source is not strong enough to do any serious vision harm, they can actually have several benefits such as focus and relaxation for your eyes.
If your eyes are starting to get irritated when burning your candles then you might be allergic to the wax or fragrance used inside, in this case, it would be best to switch to natural candles or no flame types.
Kirsten Carter is a freelance content writer who specialises in writing about travel, technology and health. When she’s not traveling between her home of Tanzania and England, she writes for her blog Rightminded Travelling and features on a variety of different travel and technology sites.