Do Blue Light Glasses Work? Science-Based Analysis

do blue light blocking glasses actually work

Do Blue Light Glasses Work? Science-Based Analysis

do blue light blocking glasses actually work

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, sleeplessness and fatigue. 

Though blue filter glasses are a new option in the market it is not new to the optical industry. As globally people spending more and more time on a screen, blue light glasses became more popular as ways to protect their eyes and its potential damage. 

Though our world is now become more and more virtual, it is almost impossible to stay away from the devices. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, computers have become an integral part of our lives leading to more and more hours spent in front of them everyday.  

Why do we need blue light blocking glasses? 

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 developed with an extra layer of protection to keep blue light from hurting your eyes. 

Simply just as you need protection from harmful ultra violet ray and you wear glasses that blocks them, similarly you need blue filter lens coating which will block the harmful and excessive blue light emitted from the digital devices.  

It is also a proven fact that blue light emitted of the digital devices can cause eye strain, headache, and also disrupt the sleep cycle. Some studies have found, that body’s natural melatonin production is impacted which is an important component to help one fall asleep. 

Are all blue light filter glasses same? 

Blue light filter glasses are important, yet 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.

Can blue light blocking glasses damage your eyes?

No, there is no evidence or any side effect reported that can cause any damage to your eyes with the use of blue light blocking glasses. In Fact they are known to relieve digital eye strain and can be used all the time indoors, outdoor, day and night. The blue light filter is just another coating that helps protect your eyes from the potential side effects of  constant device usage. 

Can you get headache when using blue light lenses?

It is very unlikely to get an headache with blue light lenses. In fact the blue light lenses are expected to relieve the eyestrain and headache. If your perception and frame is correct you should not experience any headache or eye strain. It is advisable to speak to an optician or connect with the doctor to better understand the cause and the reason behind the eye strain. They can double check the prescription and also the fitting of the glasses to ensure you are comfortable with your eye wear. 

Do all blue light blocking glasses need to have tint? 

No, Not all blue light blocking glasses need to have a tint, but many to have the tint as it serves different purposes. Some are more clearer than others but that does not mean one is better than the other. The all block different range of blue light and thus you might find some blue light blocking glasses more tinted. 

There are three types of blue light blocking glasses, clear, yellow and orange/red tint. It is important to know we need some blue light throughout the day as that helps us stay awake and be more productive. 

Clear tinted glasses with blue light filter are worn during the day as they eliminate some about of blue light but not all. They are used mainly in ares where there is less artificial light and more natural lighting.  

Yellow tint is useful for patients who are sensitive to light, have migraines, anxiety, depression and lots of stress. These lenses helps them be more productive and feel more relaxed by blocking 50% of blue light. 

Orange / red light filter are useful to help patient sleep better. These cannot be used during the day as they block maximum amount of blue light that will also impact the ability to stay awake and work. Thus these are usually used at night or when someone is trying to sleep better. 

What are the other options to protect your eyes from digital eye strain? 

Other 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?

Director of Clinical Affairs at Eyecarelive, Inc
Ukti Vora is the Director of Clinical Affairs for EyecareLive. She is actively involved in defining strategy, planing and executing various services to build a robust telehealth platform focusing on the needs of the eye care professionals. As an optometrist with 11+ years of clinical experience, and her degree in Management she serves a perfect liaison between the company and the consumer. She brings a unique blend of diversity with her experience in India and USA. She has been a speaker at several national and international conferences, panel discussions, podcasts and online webinars.