We all know that digital screens emit blue light, which can have bad consequences on your eyes, including strain, dry or watery eyes, and irritated eyes. Blue light filter glasses are among the hottest trends in eyewear. Popular eyewear companies are selling lenses that claim to filter out blue light emitted from electronic devices to reduce eye strain, headaches and insomnia issues.
Blue light sabotages your sleep schedule because it messes with your circadian rhythm (AKA the internal biological clock that tells you when it’s time to sleep or be awake).
Unfortunately, our lifestyle and work have been such that most of us can’t escape having to use computers, tablets, and phones in our everyday life.
What are blue light filter/blocking glasses?
Blue light blocking glasses have specially crafted lenses that are believed to block or filter out the blue light given off from digital screens. The lenses claim to protect your eyes from the harmful glare and can help reduce potential damage to your retina from prolonged exposure to blue light.
But are blue light glasses worth the hype?
It may surprise you, but many eye issues that are caused by digital screens aren’t due to blue light but instead of our inappropriate habits. Several people experience eye discomfort from digital screens, but most of the issues actually fall under a term called computer vision syndrome (CVS), also called digital eye strain.
CVS is a wide range of eye strain and discomfort issues. While eyes are constantly shifting focus and moving while looking at the screen and so the glare and contrast can be tough on your eyes. So although you may be experiencing eye irritation or discomfort from a long day working on your computer, your eye discomfort is not directly from the blue light itself.
When you stare at a digital screen or device for too long, you don’t blink very often, which causes the cornea to get dry and feel irritated. When we focus our eyes on something close up, like a screen or even a book, our eyes are strained and contracted, which can cause eye discomfort. But if you look ahead to a distant object, our eyes relax. So instead of running out to purchase blue light blocking glasses, suggest trying these easy and cost-effective tips and reduce screen time instead:
- Practice the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. (This can help your eyes relax.)
- Use eye drops or splash some water: Wash your face or splash some water on your eyes throughout the day to help keep your eyes lubricated while you work at a computer.
- Maintain the safe distance: Sit an arm’s length (at least about 25 inches) away from your screen. Most people tend to sit too close to the computer and experience eye strain which is natural.
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a lot of research done with blue light blocking glasses and of those researchers that have been done, they’ve been too small and might not be enough to say that these glasses benefit.
You can prefer to not spend your money and practice good screen habits throughout the day instead. But blue light has been shown to affect sleep, so make it a habit to turn off all digital devices at least one hour before bed.
Over to you
Though, we all know that the real culprit is our habit or lifestyle of staring at the screens for a long period of time. We recommend you to get an eye examination done to make sure you don’t have any other issues with your eyes and ask your ophthalmologist what they recommend because your eyestrain could be something else that needs attention and care.