Are they still necessary?
If you haven’t heard, the latest trend in eyewear is blue light or blue light-blocking eyeglasses. Blue light glasses have a special coating or tint designed to reflect or block blue light from reaching your eyes.
What is blue light?
Blue light is naturally found in sunlight and artificially in fluorescent lights, LEDs, computer screens, and smartphones. Blue light is visible light with a wavelength between 400 and 500 nanometers. Blue light is perceived as blue; however, it may also be present when light is perceived as another color, such as white, green, or even red.
Is blue light harmful?
Scientists have become concerned about the potential health effects of overexposure to any light, from white light, including sunlight, to blue light emitted from artificial sources. Our bodies have developed ways to cope with naturally occurring blue light. But the question remains, how does blue light from artificial sources impact humans?
One of the main concerns is that blue light exposure can throw off your natural biological clock. In a man-made environment, blue light exposure well past regular sunlight tricks the body into thinking it’s still daylight. It can be difficult to sleep after blue light exposure after the sun goes down.
Research shows that “high energy visible light” (HEV) controls our sleep and wake cycles, also known as circadian rhythm, and impacts memory. This blue light is known to cause eyestrain, headaches, and disruption to your natural sleep cycle. Light on the HEV spectrum is typically blue, blue-violet, and blue-turquoise.
Blue light can also trigger migraines, which are excruciating headaches that can last hours. For those prone to migraines, managing their blue light exposure can help reduce the number of episodes.
Digital screens, like mobile phones and computer screens, emit blue light. So, in theory, blue-light-blocking glasses should provide significant benefits to people using digital screens, especially before bed.
Do blue light glasses work?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, recent studies have yet to show significant evidence that supports or discredits using blue-blocking filters to prevent digital eye strain. While the scientific community continues to research this topic, consumers may want to conduct their own studies. For example, if you have extreme sensitivity to blue light and find that it triggers your migraines, it’s a good idea to try blue light-blocking glasses to see if it helps you. Based on what we know about blue light, it should.
It may be that each person’s sensitivity to blue light varies so much that these small studies could not conclusively find a correlation between wearing blue light-blocking glasses and a reduction in symptoms. Undoubtedly, more study is needed.
What is computer vision syndrome (CVS)?
CVS is caused by staring at a digital screen or device for too long. When you’re concentrating on your work, you’re not blinking as often as you usually would, which causes the cornea to become dry and irritated. This causes eye discomfort. Symptoms may include headaches, blurred vision, neck and shoulder pain, dry eyes, and eye strain.
These symptoms can be caused by various factors, including digital screens, poor lighting, improper viewing distances, poor posture, or uncorrected vision problems.
Some doctors contend that the symptoms people attribute to blue light are actually CVS. While the scientific community is still exploring this issue, there are ways you can combat I strain when using digital screens.
Practice the 20-20-20 Rule
To reduce eye strain, eye care providers recommend practicing the 20-20-20 rule. While working at a computer screen, stop every 20 minutes or so, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Looking at further distances helps the eyes to relax, and it also helps your eyes to blink again at your body’s regular rate.
If you have a light sensitivity that leads to migraines or other conditions, you might consider getting FL-41 tinted eyeglasses. This specialty tint ranges from a pinkish color to amber, and it filters out wavelengths of blue and green.
With simple changes, you can reduce eyestrain and improve symptoms like dry eye and redness. Use the 20-20-20 rule, take frequent rest breaks from your computer or other digital devices, work in an environment with plenty of light, use eye drops, and wear glasses instead of contact lenses. These steps have proven to reduce eyestrain.
Here at Classic Specs, we continue to watch the research studies about blue-light-blocking eyeglasses to bring you products that are scientifically proven to be beneficial to consumers. As we learn more, we will surely share it with you.