Blue light glasses are becoming an increasingly popular tool to remedy some of the harmful effects of blue-light exposure. Parents are faced with the conundrum: should children wear blue light glasses and are they recommended by healthcare professionals?
There is a total lack of definitive research regarding the long-term impact of blue light glasses on both adults and children. However, most optometrists do stipulate that the use of blue light glasses is completely safe and can in some cases seem to ease the impacts of prolonged screen time.
In this article, you’ll learn more about using blue light glasses for your child and whether it’s really necessary. Keep reading to find out more!
What is Blue Light?
Blue light is a high energy light wave; it is a color encompassed within the ‘visible light spectrum’. Blue light is visible to the human eye. It can also pass-through eyelids and reach the retina, much like UV light.
Our children are continually exposed to it through their use of tablets, phones, flatscreen televisions, computers, videogaming consoles and even some lightbulbs such as LED and florescent lighting.
What Are the Impacts of Blue Light Exposure to Children?
Prolonged exposure to blue light emissions can cause a multitude of health issues such as:
- Frequent headaches
- Blurred vision
- Tired eyes
- Disturbance of circadian rhythms leading to difficulty sleeping and daytime fatigue
- Dry, irritated eyes
- Eye strain
Blue light exposure from tablets and screen time is particularly alarming due to an array of factors such as: the proximity to the facial area that handheld devices are used; the amount of time spent on tablets; and the compounding impact of every day usage.
Children, in particular, are known to hold devices much closer to their eyes and faces which may increase eye issues. Similarly, remote leaning dramatically increases students’ exposure to blue light.
Are Children’s Eyes More Sensitive to Blue Light?
Children’s eyes are considered slightly more at risk of vision impairment due to the fact that they are still developing and have not reached full maturity.
Children’s eyes do not have the ability to filter out UV or blue light, like adults can. Therefore, it is thought that retina damage is possible throughout infancy and childhood.
What Kind of Blue Light Glasses Should I Buy?
After making the decision to purchase glasses, it is probably best to make your child an appointment with an optometrist for a regular check-up and comprehensive eye exam.
The American Optometric Association (AOC) estimates that only 15% of preschool aged children have received a pediatric exam.
Despite concerns regarding blue light, it is of the utmost importance to ensure that there are not more significant issues behind any symptoms.
Once the exam is complete, the eyecare professionals will be able to assist you in finding a pair which are the correct frame and lens size for your child.
Blue light glasses are available without a prescription however it is advisable to shop in person, in order to be able to try on the sizing options.
What Else Can I do to Help my Child With Blue Light Exposure?
Like most ailments, there isn’t always one quick-fix cure to issues; it is often recommended to try an array of methods to resolve lingering symptoms.
Alongside wearing blue light glasses, the following tips and tricks should also help.
- Although an obvious tip, it is not always an easy one to implement, but reducing screen time where possible would help dramatically.
- Due to the disturbance of the circadian rhythm, it is advisable to eliminate screen time two hours prior to trying to go to sleep. Encourage your children to read books or play with toys as a method of relaxation before bed.
- Utilize the screen filter technology on newer technical items; this greatly reduces exposure to blue light, especially in the evenings.
- Follow the 20/20/20 concept: every twenty minutes, look twenty feet away for twenty seconds. This quick exercise allows your eyes to take a break. Children might need a reminder or a timer setting for them to ensure that they are aware of when to take a break.
Following these steps will protect your child’s eyes!
With conflicting evidence and lack of long-term research regarding the matter of blue light exposure, the general consensus is that blue light glasses certainly do not pose any health risks.
Results vary from individual to individual and the benefit of alleviating symptoms far outweighs the minimal cost and risk.
Some insurance companies might even cover the nominal cost of glasses, so it is always worth inquiring.