Staring at a computer screen for long periods of time can cause your eyes to feel tired, strained, and dry. This is because computer screens emit blue light. But with so much of our work, school, and social lives online, it can be hard to avoid looking at screens. To address this problem, people have been buying blue light glasses.

Whats is Blue Light?

Definition Blue light is the high-energy, short-wave light that is emitted by LED diodes. This light is emitted by devices such as TVs, computers, tablets, smartphones, and smartwatches.

Is Blue Light Harmful?

The jury is still out on how harmful blue light is. Some studies have linked blue light to permanent eye damage. Other studies have disagreed because there wasn’t a marker of actual damage to the retina in the eye. However, blue light is known to cause sleep disturbances, eye strain, eye irritation, dry eyes, and watery eyes.

How Does Blue Light Disrupt Sleep?

Blue wavelengths of light coming from the sun help us feel energized when we wake up in the morning. It’s actually blue light that has the largest effect on humans’ internal sleep clock. Blue light makes our bodies think it’s daytime because normally we get blue light from the sun. The absence of blue light after sunset helps our bodies wind down to go to sleep at night. However, with continued blue light coming from our devices into the evening and even late into the night, the blue light tricks our bodies into thinking they should still be awake by blocking melatonin, a hormone that helps us feel sleepy.

The end result is that we don’t feel as drowsy as we should at night and take longer to fall asleep. There are additional health problems, such as depression and diabetes, that can occur due to disrupted sleep.

What Eye Problems Does Blue Light Cause?

Blue light has been linked to the following:

  • Dry eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Eye irritation
  • Blurry vision
  • Eyestrain
  • Macular degeneration
  • Cataracts

This is called computer vision syndrome and it affects about 50% of people who regularly use computers.

What Can You Do to Limit Blue Light Exposure at Night?

There are several techniques you can use to limit your exposure to blue light. You can dim the brightness on devices. Many tablets and smartphones have some kind of night mode that turns off or dims the blue light on the device’s LED screen. You can turn off all LED devices 2 to 3 hours before bed. Another option is to buy blue light glasses.

Limiting screen time is especially important for children. Childrens’ eyes are less able to filter out blue light than adults’ eyes are. Too much blue light exposure in children can lead to:

  • Obesity
  • ADHD
  • Nearsightedness

Children should have limited screen time and should have all devices turned off at least a half-hour before bedtime. Children’s bodies can release melatonin even slower than adults’ bodies and so they may take even longer to fall asleep if they were exposed to blue light too close to bedtime.

What Are Blue Light Glasses?

Blue light glasses are glasses that block out the blue light emitted from computer screens. The idea behind blue light glasses is that they can protect your eyes from the strain and other negative effects of staring at a computer screen for too long.

How Do Blue Light Glasses Work?

Blue light glasses are specially treated to filter out the blue light emitted from a computer or other LED screen. Their lenses appear yellow for this reason. When you’re actually wearing them, however, they don’t tint anything yellow because the yellow is just there to counteract the blue light from screens. The glasses are also specially treated to block glare from LED screens, which also relieves strain on the eyes.

Who Uses Blue Light Glasses?

Blue light glasses have long been popular with video gamers and office workers. Both of these groups of people spend long hours looking at computer screens. Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, however, more and more people have been working remotely or turning to digital means of keeping in touch. This has resulted in more people experiencing increased exposure to screens. Therefore, more and more people have been turning to blue light glasses to alleviate eyestrain.

Do Blue Light Glasses Really Work?

Blue light glasses are a relatively new product, so there haven’t been long-term studies on their benefits. Many ophthalmologists don’t believe they do much to alleviate eyestrain or reduce the risk of blurry vision. Many of these ophthalmologists don’t believe the problem of eyestrain is caused by the blue light but instead by how we use devices. Regardless of what experts say, many users of the glasses have said that they worked.

Do Blue Light Glasses Alleviate Eyestrain?

When it comes to eyestrain, some people may find that they help. However, many professionals believe that the benefits may be limited and that the glasses are no replacement for screen breaks. If you’re experiencing eyestrain or blurry vision from looking at a computer screen or other LED screen for long periods of time, it’s important to speak to your eye doctor to determine the best solution for you.

Do Blue Light Glasses Help Improve Sleep?

Where blue light glasses really seem to shine is in improving sleep. While it’s uncertain whether or not blue light causes eyestrain, it’s more definitively linked to sleep disruption. Blue light glasses can help increase melatonin levels if worn at night when looking at a screen. A study done by the University of Houston in 2017 found that in people who wore blue light glasses while looking at a device screen before sleeping had 58% more melatonin and were thus able to sleep better afterward.

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