What research says about blue light blocking glasses.Maybe your friends keep telling you how blue light blocking glasses have improved their vision? Maybe, you want to know if blue light blocking glasses are for you?
So now you want to know... Do blue light glasses actually work?
Let’s find out.
What are Blue Light Glasses?
The idea behind blue light glasses is simple: they filter out the blue spectrum of light, which our body tells us is dangerous. The lenses in the glasses are coated with a layer specifically designed to block out the blue portion of the light spectrum.
Not a New Invention
Blue light glasses are used by migraine sufferers, because these patients often experience a reaction to light coming either from their computer monitor or from natural sunlight.
Blue light glasses are sometimes called computer glasses, night glasses, anti-blue light glasses or blue blocker glasses.
More Than a Trend
A lot of the hype to be related to the perceived benefits of blue light glasses being shown in ads and by eyecare centers. Several claims have been made including that they help with eye strain from digital devices or that they help prevent headaches. Then there are the people who like to wear the blue light glasses to protect their eyes, or because they want to look cool.
Getting To the Truth
Today we will cover the top three claims made about the benefits of blue-light glasses.
- Help with Digital Eye Strain
- Prevent Headache
- Improved Sleep
Reduced Eye Strain?
It's a well known fact that staring at computer screens for extended periods of time causes eye strain and/or headaches but how much of this is due to the blue light emitted by your computer screen?
Are you being exposed to more blue light than in the past because your screen is larger and you're sitting closer to it? Is there more blue light because you're on a tablet instead of a laptop?
Related Article: Blurry Vision & Headaches: What Does it Mean?
More Connected, More Devices, More Eye Strain
Many of you have probably had issues with your eyes that are caused by using your phone and computers, but you cant quite escape using your electronic devices . None of us really can. If not for work, for leisure, or to connect with family and friends. The digital world is constantly growing and with that is the use of digital devices in our lives.
Desperate for a solution, you turn to buying a pair of blue light glasses. The problem is they may not help your eye strain problems at all.
In a study published in Optometry and Vision Science, researchers found that blue light filters are no more effective at reducing digital eyestrain than an eliminant neutral density filter.
There are glasses that can help with near strain. We suggest checking out our Guide to computer vision glasses (Computer vision syndrome).
Despite almost no research to support blue-blocking filters, some eyecare centers continue to claim that their blue light blocking glasses can reduce the symptoms of digital eyestrain.
Approach any eyecare center, brand, or company promoting this benefit with caution.
Another benefit still in the gray area of truth is the effect of blue blocking glasses on headaches.
Where there is eye strain, there is headaches but just like eye strain there are no current studies that support the use of blue light blocking glasses to prevent headaches.
Headaches and Electronic Devices
No one likes a headache, and most people would do anything to get rid of one (especially if they are caused by the digital devices we love).
Unfortunately several leading healthcare organizations don't recommend blue light glasses to help with headaches caused by phones or computers.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology does not recommend any kind of special blue-light blocking eyewear for computer users.
There's more. The organization says eye disease and eyestrain (as mentioned before) are not caused by blue light glasses.
The Real Problem
Overuse. Healthcare organizations, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, say that staring at a phone, computer, or any other digital device long term causes several health issues, including headaches.
If you were looking for a solution to your eyestrain from computers then the latest findings can be disappointing.
Thankfully, there are solutions that help.
- Every 20 minutes, Look away from your screen
- Focus on something at least 20 feet (6m) away
- For at least 20 seconds
The 20-20-20 rule was designed to help prevent symptoms associated with using digital devices.So far there seems to be no real benefit of blue light blocking glasses. There is one area however that may make buying blue light blocking glasses beyond beneficial.
Blue light glasses won't necessarily prevent headaches directly, they can help improve your sleep — and better sleep can make headaches less frequent, relieve stress and plenty of other health benefits.
If you are not with the benefits of sleep here is a quote from The worlds leading sleep expert Mathew Walker on the importance of sleep.
"Every disease that is killing us in developed nations has causal and significant links to a lack of sleep,"
Sounds harsh but it's true.
Luckily, breakthrough studies have shown benefits of blue light blocking glasses when it comes to getting better sleep.
Researchers at the University of Houston found that reducing blue-light from electronics increased melatonin levels, improved sleep (including falling asleep faster) and increased the amount of time spent sleeping.
A great night rest is essential to living a great life and if blue light blocking glasses can add that. They provide a much larger health benefit than just helping you see your digital devices.
The impact on sleep is definitely a great reason to buy some blue light blocking glasses, even if they are just night time blue light glasses readers.
Now if you are wondering if blue light glasses actually work you have your answer.
Any eyecare center trying to sell you blue light blocking glasses based on eyestrain or a reduction in headaches may be hard to trust.
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