Blue light glasses are a popular way to protect your eyes from the blue light which all of our various screens produce. If you already have a pair of blue light glasses, you may be wondering: Do blue light glasses block UV rays?
Blue light glasses do not block UV rays, they only help reduce the amount of blue light that enters your eyes. The blue light rays, which are emitted from screens such as televisions, tablets, phones, and laptops, are different from UV rays in their length and strength.
In this article, we will discuss the differences between blue light rays and UV rays, what blue light glasses actually do, and why you may want to invest in two pairs of glasses instead of just blue light glasses.
Is Blue Light the Same as UV Rays?
While several generations have known the damaging effects of UV rays, blue light is a new worry for the modern generation. But before we discuss how to best protect your eyes from both blue light and UV rays, it’s important to understand what these terms actually mean.
UV rays, or ultraviolet radiation, are light that comes from the sun that can negatively affect your vision and put strain on your eyes. The rays themselves are made up of extremely short waves, and experts have proven that when it comes to wavelength, the shorter they are, the more damaging they can be to the human body.
Blue light is also light energy; while some blue light is emitted from the sun, blue light mostly comes from LED or other screens. Your phone, laptop, television, and tablet all give off blue light constantly, and if you are like more people on earth, you probably spend several hours a day looking at a screen, which means you are being exposed to a lot of blue light.
While blue light is not nearly as damaging as UV rays, the amount of time we spend looking at blue light is the real problem. Imagine if you spend eight to sixteen hours a day staring at the sun instead of staring at a screen!
The point is, you should be doing your best to protect your eyes from both UV rays and blue light, and if you already have a pair of blue light glasses at home, you may want to know if they can shield your eyes against UV rays as well.
Do Blue Light Glasses Block UV Rays?
Now that you understand the difference between blue light and UV rays, let’s talk about what happens when you wear blue light glasses outside to try to block UV rays.
Unfortunately, standard blue light glasses do nothing to block UV rays. By wearing blue light glasses outside instead of sunglasses, you could be damaging your eyes as UV rays can cause eye strain, blurry vision, and cataracts.
UV rays are much more powerful than blue light waves, and the basic blue light glasses that are being sold to the masses simply do not have the technology to protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays.
It’s essential to understand that if you do choose to wear blue light glasses when looking at screens, you should not substitute them for actual UV protection sunglasses when you are outside in the sun.
Some companies are currently promoting blue light glasses that block UV rays, but unfortunately, studies have shown that most of these marketing campaigns are simply lying about what the glasses can do.
You might be excited to learn that there are options for UV protection glasses and some block blue light as well.
What Glasses Block UV Rays?
There are specific safety, and even some fashionable, glasses available that will absolutely block harmful UV rays. These glasses are usually tinted or polarized in order to use color to shield your eyes from the sun’s rays.
Whether you opt for safety glasses for work or a brand-name pair to go with your outfit, it’s important to check that they have a “U” label, meaning they can actually protect your eyes against UV rays.
While blue light glasses also use color to protect your eyes, specific UV glasses are more intensely tinted and often have mirrored lenses to ensure fewer UV rays get through, keeping your eyes safe when you are in direct or indirect sunlight.
If you do a little research, you may be able to find the perfect pair of glasses to protect your eyes from both blue light and UV rays, but they are less common and, therefore, harder to find.
The Bottom Line
Unfortunately, standard blue light glasses only protect your eyes from the blue light emitted from screens, not the UV rays released from the sun. While blue light glasses can be a great option if you spend hours working online, they will do nothing if you wear them outside.