Blue light is a wavelength in the visible spectrum of light emitted by digital devices such as computers, smartphones, and televisions. It is shorter than other wavelengths and is not absorbed by our bodies like other light sources.
Excessive exposure to blue light can cause eye strain and discomfort, called computer vision syndrome, or CVS. Some glasses block this blue light to help alleviate symptoms.
They Do Not Block All Blue Light
Blue light is a spectrum of visible light that’s short in wavelength, high in energy, and can damage the retina (an essential part of the eye that enables vision). Both natural and artificial sources of blue light emit varying amounts of this high-energy blue spectrum.
Many digital devices (such as computers, tablets, smartphones, and gaming consoles) produce blue light, which can cause eyestrain and other eye health problems if you spend much time in front of them. Generally, people should take a 10-minute break from their screens every hour, use eye drops, and use glasses instead of contact lenses to help reduce eyestrain symptoms.
While blue light glasses may not prevent eye strain, they can help alleviate other symptoms related to digital screen use, such as dry eyes, redness, and headaches. Moreover, if you tend to be groggy in the morning after spending too much time in front of a computer or tablet, these glasses can also help improve your sleep.
Luckily, thousands of blue light glasses are on the market, from inexpensive options blocking most of the blue light that comes through your window to higher-end frames with prescription lenses. Before making a purchase, you should consider several things, including how you want to wear the glasses and your budget.
They Are not Medically Necessary
Blue light glasses are a popular trend among fashion-forward eyewear, which sell lenses that filter blue light from electronic screens to reduce eyestrain, headaches, sleep disorders, and more. However, the science behind these claims has yet to be proven.
While they may help reduce eye strain in the short term, they are not a permanent solution and are not medically necessary for any person suffering from vision problems. As a result, if you are not experiencing any issues from screen time, it is not worth your while to invest in a pair of these lenses, as the money you spend could go into a more effective and potentially cheaper solution.
For instance, it is possible to turn your computer and other devices to night mode, which emits softer, less blue light, to alleviate some of the stress associated with screen time. You can also take regular breaks from screens to allow your eyes to rest and refresh, and you can try adjusting your lighting to minimize glare.
If you buy a pair of blue light glasses, it’s important to choose frames that fit comfortably on your face. Look for lightweight frames that don’t pinch the bridge of your nose, feel too tight around your ears, or slide down your nose. You can also shop for a pair that includes prescription lenses, which can be more expensive but are likely covered by your health insurance or vision plan.
They Aren’t Cost-Effective
Blue light rays are emitted from your screens and many other devices, which can cause various health problems. The most obvious is eye fatigue, which can lead to headaches and blurry vision. In addition, screen time can interfere with our sleep patterns.
Fortunately, blue light glasses can help reduce these symptoms; according to All About Vision, the lenses block or at least filter out some of the blue rays from our screens. However, they don’t necessarily prevent all the rays from reaching your eyes or avoid damage to the retina.
To protect your eyes from damage, start wearing blue light glasses designed to be lightweight and comfortable to wear for long periods. Those that also feature anti-glare or anti-reflective properties are ideal, says Dr. Brocwell, because they can lessen the glare and reflections of your screen that can make you feel tired or dizzy.
Ultimately, the best way to avoid eye strain from digital devices is to limit spending and take breaks from them throughout the day. This may include spending time outside, which is known to lower stress and improve vitamin D levels in the body.
They Aren’t a Permanent Solution
If you are concerned about your eyes, it is a good idea to seek a professional eye exam. Having your eyes regularly tested for issues such as dryness or cataracts is essential.
The American Optometric Association recommends getting an annual eye exam to make sure there are no underlying health concerns that may be impacting your vision. Fortunately, the symptoms of digital eye strain are not associated with long-term damage and should be considered an annoying but non-threatening side effect.
While there is some evidence that blue light glasses can help reduce eye strain, they are not a permanent solution. If you notice your vision becoming blurry or tired while using your devices, you should cut back on screen time and take regular breaks.
You should also keep your glasses clean and protect them from scratches. We recommend washing them with warm water and a little dish soap and rubbing them between the crevices.
Blue light-blocking glasses are also excellent for people who want to ensure they do not overexpose their eyes to the blue light that disrupts our circadian rhythms at night. A recent study showed that adults who wore blue light-blocking glasses for two hours before going to sleep fell asleep faster and slept more soundly than those who did not.