Blue light glasses are one of the hippest trends of 2020. During the pandemic, we’ve relied heavily on our electronic devices. Low levels of blue light are emitted from these devices which research suggests, when exposure is prolonged, may cause eye blurriness, dry eye symptoms and sleeplessness.
What you may not realize is that the sun is a natural source of highly concentrated blue light. So, why do we protect our eyes from the sun and not from the blue light coming from screens?
While electronic devices emit low levels of blue light compared to the sun, research suggests that continued absorption, even of low levels, for several hours a day might cause similar damage.
In the same way that sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun, blue light glasses are marketed as an extra layer of protection to keep blue light from hurting your eyes.
Yet this raises the question, are all blue light glasses created equal? Do all of these glasses, whether they cost $100 from your eye doctor or $20 from a local boutique, truly protect your eyes?
The simple answer is no; not all blue light glasses are created equal. According to Vision Monday, eyeglasses that filter the “dangerous levels” of blue light (400-500 nanometers) are the glasses that actually protect your eyes. So, when you are considering purchasing a pair, read the description of what levels these glasses actually block to know whether they will have an impact on your eyesight.
Here’s another suggestion to protect your eyes; many devices now offer a “night mode” or “night shift” setting that changes the colors of your display to more yellow hues, minimizing the output of blue light.
Another option is a blue light filter or screen protector applied directly to your device. These protectors claim to block the waves of blue light from reaching your vision. Like the glasses, however, not all filters block the same wavelengths of blue light. Take note of the description and which nanometers of UV rays are being blocked. Verify that it’s within the 400-500 range.
Along with the use of the affective blue light blockers, take periodic breaks from your screens to allow your mind and eyes to rest.
During this unusual time, it is key to practice self-care and that includes caring for your eyes.
Wondering if your eyes have been affected by increased screen time? Take a dry eye quiz now: eyecarelive.com/dry