In recent years, many people have started to wear blue light glasses while interacting with screens such as smartphones and computers. Whether you have already purchased a pair or are considering doing so, you may be wondering: are blue light glasses really worth it?
Studies have shown that blue light filtering glasses do not effectively prevent eye strain. However, they may play a role in helping to prevent or lessen the effects of certain sleep disorders.
In this article we will look at the ways in which blue light glasses may be beneficial, as well as some additional ways to prevent eye strain and other potential problems caused by blue light.
Do Blue Light Glasses Work?
Advertisements for blue light glasses claim that the lenses block harmful UV rays emitted by our screens. But do these lenses actually do what they advertise, and are they worth the investment? The American Academy of Ophthalmology does not think so.
AAO says that blue light glasses have little to no impact on preventing eye diseases or screen-induced eye strain. However, doctors agree that there is a benefit to wearing them if you are prone to looking at screens close to bedtime.
In a study by the University of Houston, researchers found that blue light glasses significantly decreased sleep disturbances. Participants in the study spent two weeks wearing blue light glasses after sunset, leading to an apparent improvement in sleep quality and melatonin levels.
Despite these results, other sources maintain that blue light glasses are not needed for late-night screen viewing. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends alternative solutions for all of your screen-induced sleep problems. These recommendations include:
- Shutting off screens 2-3 hours before going to bed.
- Turning on “dark mode” or “night shift” after the sun goes down.
Essentially, blue light glasses do work for improving sleep patterns for those of us who need or want to use screens in the evening. However, they will not do anything for eye strain. They are also not essential for preventing screen-based sleep problems.
Do Blue Light Glasses Work for Headaches?
We have established that blue light glasses do not reduce eye strain, but do they work for headaches?
If you are a person who suffers from migraines or other types of headaches there are better options for you than blue light glasses. Especially for those who suffer from chronic migraines due to light sensitivity, a better choice is a lens with a special tint called an FL-41 tint. These lenses may even be covered by insurance.
Do Blue Light Glasses Help with Blurry Vision?
Blurry vision caused by too much screen use is due to eye strain. Since blue light glasses are ineffective at treating eye strain, they are also not helpful for treating blurry vision related to screens.
If you are looking to decrease these symptoms you will need to take steps to resolve eye strain created by your devices.
What Can I Do for Eye Strain?
According to AAO, the main cause of screen-based eye strain is a decrease in blinking. There are no major damages to the eyes that are caused by blue light. But if blue light glasses will not do anything for those of us who must view screens for hours at a time, what can be done to combat dry, tired eyes?
Here are some methods that ophthalmologists prescribe:
- Use eye drops to reduce dry eye symptoms.
- Increase your font size and/or screen contrast.
- Put a light filter on your screen to reduce glare.
- Purchase a monitor with the best resolution possible.
- Follow the 20/20/20 rule–for every 20 minutes at a screen, look at something about 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Keep screens at least 25 inches away from your eyes.
Are There Any Downsides to Wearing Blue Light Glasses?
We have already discussed that most experts agree long hours spent staring at screens can cause eye problems, and that blue light is not the culprit. The causes of eye strain and other issues created by screens are:
- Increased blinking.
- Shifting of eye focus.
- Holding screens too close to the face.
With that in mind, the major downside to blue light glasses is that wearing them will not do anything for eye strain. On the other hand, there is no known harm in using them, and wearing them all day is fine.
Pros and Cons
Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of wearing blue light glasses, as described throughout this article:
|Effective in minimizing the effects of blue light on sleep rhythms.||Ophthalmologists agree they are not a useful treatment for eye strain.Other lenses are better at reducing migraines and headaches.|
Hopefully, you can see whether or not you’re a good candidate for blue light glasses!
Blue light glasses may be used to keep sleep disruptions at bay. However, there are other solutions to ward off insomnia and prevent eye strain as well as headaches. Ultimately, there is no harm in using blue light glasses, but you are probably better off implementing the other methods described in this article if you are looking to prevent eye strain in particular.