Updated: Jul 29, 2022
The blue light that emanates from device screens can cause eye fatigue and dryness, headaches, and more. In the modern world, these effects are exceptionally common. We check our phones frequently, fill our spare time with TV, and tend to rack up the screen time at work, too. The result is blue light galore.
One potential solution to the never-ending march of blue light into our eyes is blue light glasses. This style of eyewear claims to filter the blue light from screens before it reaches your delicate eyes, thereby reducing the extensive list of possible symptoms. For those who spend long stints behind screens, blue light glasses sound like a godsend, but are they?
What is Blue Light?
Emitted by screens and the blue sky above, blue light is a short wavelength light that contains a substantial amount of energy. Despite occurring naturally in the sky, blue light can be damaging both to your eyes and your body’s natural rhythms. Because it is now produced artificially at all hours of the day, these negative effects are more common and impactful.
Blue light signals daytime, which alerts the human body for action and encourages energy production. Overexposure, especially at night, can interrupt healthy sleep cycles and cause eye dryness and fatigue. Anyone who looks at screens for hours a day can likely attest to these profound physical changes.
Blue light glasses are designed to limit the amount of blue light that reaches your eyes, thereby reducing the negative side effects of said light rays.
Do Blue Light Glasses Work?
At this time, there are no definitive studies on whether blue light glasses work or not. This lack of an absolute conclusion does not mean that the technology is void of valuable research, however. There have been numerous studies conducted on the topic, and the results are mixed.
Most of these studies are based on participant feedback, meaning that there is room for personal interpretations and health factors to affect the outcome. The general consensus is that blue light glasses might work to reduce dry eye, prevent eye fatigue, and protect overall eye health. Some participants even claimed that blue light glasses enhanced their vision when using screens.
Other Blue Light Reduction Tips
While wearing blue light glasses might be worthwhile, there are several proven methods of reducing the negative impact of blue light exposure.
Taking frequent breaks from screens—especially to get exercise, go outside, or otherwise reduce stress—can be beneficial if you avoid checking your phone. Filling your free time with screen-free activities is also a good way to reduce blue light exposure.
Avoid screens before bed—preferably in the two to three hours leading up to sleep. You can take this a step further by creating spaces within your home that do not have screens in them (not even your phone). Consider starting this trend with your bedroom!
The symptoms of overexposure to blue light can be profound and have a negative effect on your quality of life. By reducing your exposure to blue light via the techniques listed above, you can minimize your risk of eye strain, dry eye, headaches, blurred vision, and more.
If you are already experiencing these symptoms or wish to learn more about blue light and blue light glasses, be sure to reach out to your eye doctor. They can assess your situation and help you develop a solution that’s right for you and your eyes.