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What Are the Benefits of Blue Light Glasses?

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Young boy wearing blue light glasses while using laptop to finish homework

Are your eyes tired and strained after staring at a computer screen all day? Do you get a headache after spending the day in the sunlight? If so, you may be feeling the effects of too much blue light.

Too much blue light can leave your eyes fatigued, unfocused and can lead to many more symptoms.

Blue light can be pretty bad for your eyes, and sometimes it’s impossible to avoid. Luckily, blue light glasses can block the blue light and can counteract its negative consequences.

What is Blue Light? 

Blue light is part of the visible light spectrum that the human eye can see. Simply put, it is the light we see that has the shortest wavelength and highest energy.

Sources of Blue Light

Blue light makes up approximately one-third of all the light we see. Sources of blue light include:

  • Sunlight
  • Computer monitors
  • Smartphone screens
  • Flat-screen televisions
  • LED lights
  • Fluorescent light
  • Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs
  • Tablet screens.

Sunlight is the primary source of natural blue light, and digital devices emit only a fraction of that emitted by the sun. But unfortunately, due to the amount of time people spend using digital devices and how close we view them, the risk of blue light from digital devices can be much more harmful than we realize.

How Does Blue Light Affect You?

Almost all visible blue light passes through the cornea and lens and reaches the retina. In large amounts, blue light can increase your risk of eye disease and harm your health in many other ways. Some of the ways blue light can affect you include:

What are Blue Light Glasses?

Blue light glasses are glasses that are specifically made to block or filter out blue light. Although there hasn’t been much research done on the effect of blue light blocking glasses, some studies show that blue light glasses may:

  • Improve visual performance
  • Improve sleep quality
  • Alleviate eye fatigue
  • Conserve macular health

Blue light glasses might not work for everyone, but they may help reduce potential damage to the eyes from prolonged exposure to blue light. 

Young man wearing blue light glasses while playing video games on computer at night

When to Wear Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Blue light is all around us, so how do you know when to wear your blue light glasses? We recommend wearing your blue light blocking glasses when:

  • You are using any digital devices for a prolonged period
  • You are spending time outdoors in the sunlight and do not have sunglasses
  • You are exposed to LED bulbs, whether it be in your home or outside of your home

Additional Tips

In addition to wearing blue light glasses, there are some steps you can take to lessen the symptoms associated with too much blue light. This includes:

  • Practice the 20-20-20 rule: Take a break from digital devices every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a break from the screen and helps them relax. 
  • Use eye drops: Eye drops can keep your eyes lubricated throughout the day if you are experiencing dry eyes from blue light.
  • Avoid too much screen time and sunlight: The best way to lower your exposure to blue light is by limiting how much time you spend looking at devices or in the sun. 
  • Distance yourself from screens: To avoid blue light exposure, sit an arm’s length away from your screen. 
  • Using screen filters: You can install or enable certain screen filters that lower blue light exposure on certain digital devices.
  • Adjust your lighting: If you have LED bulbs in your home and you cannot change them, consider adding additional light sources that do not use LED bulbs.
  • Wear sunglasses: If you spend a lot of time in the sun, your eyes will be exposed to large amounts of blue light. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. 

Taking care of your vision and eye health is a crucial component of your overall wellness. Book an appointment with your eye care professional to determine whether or not blue light glasses are the proper treatment for you.

Written by Anthony Iuliano

Dr. Iuliano graduated with an honours degree in Biological Science from the University of Calgary with plans to work in the healthcare industry. In 2008, he attended the University of Waterloo Optometry program and graduated with honours in 2012.
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