Blue light glasses are one of the hottest things right now in eyewear. If you are trying to find ways to reduce eye fatigue or improve your sleep then you are most likely considering buying a pair. They are available with regular and prescription lenses but do blue light glasses actually work? Check out this article to find out what they can do for you.
What Is Blue Light?
What’s the big deal about “blue light”? After all, it is just part of the spectrum of colors that we see every day. Research studies are showing that because blue light has a shorter wavelength and higher energy, it has the potential to cause problems with your eyes and overall well-being.
The vast majority of our blue light exposure comes from the sun. The remainder comes light-emitting devices that we use every day. These can be things like computer monitors, tablets, smartphones, and even your TV. The LED lights that we use to light our home and workplace can emit more blue light than incandescent and fluorescent bulbs.
People are using digital display devices more than ever before and the combination of all this blue light exposure is what has been the subject of some concern among researchers, eye doctors, and physicians.
Here is a short video from HB Optical Laboratories that describes the characteristics of blue light.
Benefits Of Blue Light Glasses
Now that you understand what blue light is I’m sure you are still asking yourself do blue light glasses work? Most people that have tried them for one month or more have found them to be helpful in a number of ways.
Here’s what we actually know from the studies that have been done so far. Blue light glasses are generally recognized to be helpful in 3 different ways. The supporting evidence for these glasses is very convincing but not always entirely conclusive.
Higher quality sleep – Blue light glasses have been shown to be effective in improving the quality of sleep, especially in people with delayed sleep phase disorder (DSPD) in humans. Blue light interferes with sleep by decreasing the production of melatonin, which is made in the pineal gland of the brain. Glasses that use amber lenses (“sleep lenses”) work best. For additional information on how to improve sleep see Natural Ways To Help With Sleep – Feeling Refreshed Every Morning!
Studies are being conducted to see if chronic sleep deprivation from exposure to blue light can adversely affect memory and cause early dementia.
Decreased fatigue – Blocking blue light can reduce eye strain, especially from viewing computer monitors. People that wear blue light lenses often report a decrease in overall fatigue and headache at the end of the day. To learn more about how to improve fatigue see Chronic Fatigue Causes – Find The Energy You’ve Been Missing!
Improved retinal health – The degree to which blue light glasses can preserve overall retinal health is uncertain. There have not been any definitive studies done directly on people from just the blue part of the visible color spectrum. All the studies to date have been performed on laboratory animals or human cells in a petri dish. However, blocking blue light most likely prevents retinal damage to our eyes and helps to preserve our vision as we age.
It is well documented that any form of high-energy light exposure, especially in the blue-violet color range, can cause eye damage. Retinal damage can result in age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Damage to the lens of the eye can cause cataract formation.
Both adults and children can benefit from blue light glasses. They are available in a wide variety of configurations to accommodate a wide variety of lifestyles.
Here is a video from MindfulThinks that explains more about why blue light can affect sleep.
When To Wear Blue Light Glasses
Use blue light glasses whenever you will be looking at a computer monitor or portal digital device screen for a prolonged period of time. If you rely on these devices throughout the day then it’s best to wear them continuously. You might be surprised at how quickly the exposure time can add up.
The easiest approach to dealing with blue light is to add an anti-reflective coating to your prescription glasses. For non-prescription wearers, you can buy a variety of glasses with or without close-up magnification. The glassed come in various degrees of blue light protection.
Low-level protection lenses typically appear clear, while moderate-protection lenses can have a bluish to purple tint. Sleep lenses offer the highest level of protection and can appear yellowish. The high-protection types often have the light blocking component built directly into the lens instead of being added as a surface coating.
To achieve the best results wear low to moderate protecting lenses during the day and high protection (amber-tinted) sleep lenses several hours before bedtime.
Other Ways To Protect Your Eyes From Blue Light
If you don’t want to wear regular or prescription blue light glasses then there are several other ways to protect yourself from exposure.
Buy a screen protector – You can purchase a blue light screen protector that fits over your computer monitor screen, tablet, or laptop. This can be a practical solution if you are not changing computers or portable digital devices throughout the day.
Use a blue light or “night shift” app – There are several apps available for tablets and phones that will dim your screen and shift it a little into the yellow light spectrum. They can be enabled continuously or programmed to turn on and off on a schedule, such as turning on at 10 PM and off at 6 AM. On-line websites are also available to adjust light emission from your computer monitor.
Take dietary supplements – There is some evidence that taking “eye vitamins” or eating healthy foods that contain antioxidants can help protect your eyes from blue light. These may work by helping to increase the pigmentation in your macula (the macular pigment optical density or MPOD), which is the area of sharpest vision on your retina. See Foods High In Antioxidant – Eating Smart For Better Health.
The number one dietary supplement that I recommend for protecting your eyes from blue light damage is the EyePromise Restore Supplement. It contains 8 mg of zeaxanthin and 4 mg of lutein to help keep the macular pigmentation of the retina healthy.
Decrease screen viewing time – The amount of time we spend looking at the screens of digital devices is steadily increasing. Try to find ways to decrease viewing time, especially 2 to 3 hours before bedtime. Consider reading books, magazines, and newspapers on paper instead of e-readers.
Implement the “20-20-20 rule” – To help prevent eye strain while using digital devices you can try the “20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes look away from your screen or display. Focus on something about 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Blue light can interfere with your sleep cycle (circadian rhythm), cause eyestrain with fatigue, and has the potential to cause long term problems with your eyesight. Some researchers believe that chronic blue light exposure can accelerate age-related macular degeneration.
There are many ways to block blue light. If you use a variety of digital devices throughout the day and work in LED-lit areas then wearing blue light glasses is one of the best alternatives. Both regular and prescription blue light glasses are available for daytime and evening (sleep lenses) use.
Combining more than one option, like wearing blue light glasses and taking a dietary supplement, may give you an additional advantage. There is still more research that needs to be done to find the ideal approach.
Tell Us What You Think
Please let us know what’s on your mind in the comment section, or if I can help you with anything.
- Are you currently using blue light glasses?
- Have you used other methods to block blue light?
- Has reducing exposure to blue light improved your sleep or fatigue?