If you’re one of the millions of workers who have switched to working from home, you may be worrying about how much time you’re spending staring at your computer.
Maybe your child’s school is now entirely virtual, and you’re unsure whether the increase in screen time is harming them. Either way, your eyes are dry and strained after a long day staring at a computer screen.
Blue Light Glasses: Do They Really Protect Your Eyes?
You’ve heard that blue light is supposedly bad for your sleep cycle, and you know that blue light blocking glasses exist. But is a pair of these glasses worth the money? Is blue light that bad?
Keep reading to learn more.
What Is Blue Light?
Blue light is a color in the visible light spectrum. Though it is emitted by the sun, it is more commonly made by man-made light sources such as screens and light bulbs. Blue light plays an essential role in the human brain.
Because blue light vibrates at a high frequency, it can stimulate your brain and essentially “trick” it into thinking it’s still the middle of the day. This is the primary worry about blue light: it messes with your circadian rhythm.
Blue light can make it harder for you to sleep. Exposure to screens shortly before bed will make it difficult for your brain to settle. However, claims that blue light can cause eye disease is mostly unfounded.
The Good News
The good news is that you don’t have to worry too much. The American Academy of Ophthalmology reassures that blue light does not cause eye disease or eye strain. They say that eye strain is caused by how we use devices, not the blue light emitted by them.
Largely, the AAO advises that you limit your device usage. If that’s not feasible, then try and schedule your device usage throughout the day, so you are using it less at night.
The AAO is not against blue light glasses, but say that they are not as effective as limiting your exposure. Blue light glasses can ease some symptoms of extended screen time but are most effective when paired with precautionary measures.
Should I Buy Blue Light Glasses?
The evidence for blue light protective glasses is mostly anecdotal. Many users have said that their eyes feel less dry and less strained by the end of the day. However, eye strain and dryness occur because your eyes blink fewer times while staring at a screen, not because of blue light.
In short, blue light glasses are not recommended but may help you or your child. However, many phones and computers come equipped with Night Mode or another blue light filter. This will more effectively protect your eyes from blue light than blue light filtering glasses.
Screen Time Isn’t All Bad
Because blue light gives your brain a jolt, it can be helpful when you need motivation or energy. But the best way to protect your eyes from blue light is to limit your exposure to it.
So don’t feel the need to shell out for a pair of blue light glasses. Look through your app store and find a blue light filter instead. Or even better: put your phone down for an hour, and give your eyes a break.