Do Blue Light Glasses Work? Separating Fact From Fiction

Apr 02, 2024
Do Blue Light Glasses Work? Separating Fact From Fiction
You’ve seen ads for blue light glasses and you’re wondering if they really work and whether you need them. Our blue light glasses expert weighs in with the facts.

You check texts and emails first thing in the morning, monitor your social media feed throughout the day, and watch countless videos, movies, and reels as part of your everyday routine. Admit it — you’re hooked on electronics.

Unfortunately, from your workstations to your smartphone, these screens emit a dangerous glow — blue light. 

Controversy and misinformation make it challenging to discern fact from fiction regarding blue light and its effects, so Vision Corner's experienced optometrist and blue light glasses expert, Dr. Sophia Barnes, is using this month’s blog to address the issue for our patients throughout Houston, Texas. 

Blue light — the good and the bad

Blue light is a part of the visible light spectrum, meaning you can see it. It’s a high-energy, short-wave light in the violet/blue band ranging from 380 to 500 nanometers. This type of light is everywhere but is exceptionally high in electronic devices and artificial lights.

Blue light has both benefits and potential risks. On the positive side, exposure to blue light during daytime hours helps regulate the circadian rhythm to enhance healthy sleep, promotes alertness, boosts memory and cognitive function, and elevates mood.

However, blue light also has a dark side. Overexposure, especially at night, can suppress melatonin production more powerfully than other types of light, potentially disrupting sleep patterns. Also, constant exposure to blue light over time could damage your retinal cells and cause vision problems such as age-related macular degeneration.

Blue light scatters more easily than most other visible light, which may make it difficult for your eye to focus when receiving it. While blue light is a natural part of the environment, you must manage exposure, particularly from digital devices, to protect your eye health and overall well-being.

Blue light sources 

Digital devices typically get most of the blame for blue light emissions, but the sun is the primary natural source of blue light. Your body relies on cues from the sun, including its blue light, to regulate your sleep-wake cycles (circadian rhythms). When you absorb too much blue light, you may have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep.

Cell phones and computers aren’t the only artificial sources of blue light; fluorescent and LED lights also emit it.

How blue light affects your eye health

Blue light’s high-energy waves reach deeper into your eye than other types of light, so it can potentially impact your eye health. Extended exposure, especially within the short wavelength ranges, is associated with digital eye strain, sleep disturbances, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Benefits of blue light glasses

These glasses feature special coatings that filter out most of the blue light. This selective filtering can ease the burden on your eyes without distorting color perception or digital clarity, striking a balance between protection and practicality.

Blue light glasses could be a game-changer if you spend more than a few hours on digital devices. By reducing the fatigue and discomfort associated with screen time, you can focus more on your activity than your aching eyes.

Blue light and computer vision syndrome

If you feel groggy and achy after spending hours gaming or staring at your laptop, you may have computer vision syndrome. In addition to fatigue, you may experience headaches, neck pain, blurred vision, dry eyes, and trouble with refocusing — all indicators that your screen time is taking a toll. 

Because blue light’s high-energy short wavelengths scatter so easily, it reduces contrast, making your eyes work harder to focus, and voilà — eye strain.

Blue light glasses that block out the harmful wavelengths can alleviate your computer vision syndrome symptoms, but they’re not your only defense. You can and should also:

  • Take frequent screen breaks (follow the 20-20-20 rule)
  • Use an anti-glare screen protector
  • Adjust your screen’s brightness
  • Wear prescription lenses if needed

If these measures don’t improve your symptoms, schedule an appointment with Dr. Barnes. She can run tests to diagnose or rule out other eye problems. 

By addressing the root cause of computer vision syndrome — blue light — our professionally designed glasses allow you to keep working or enjoying your digital devices without harming your vision.

In a world where digital devices are constant companions, the efficient management of blue light exposure is more critical than ever. Blue light glasses can help safeguard the health of your eyes against the relentless barrage of digital screens.

Book an appointment online or call Vision Corner to learn more about blue light glasses and how to get yours.