Do Blue Light Glasses Work?

Man at screen wearing blue light glasses prescribed to him by Bristol

Do Blue Light
Glasses Work?

You may have heard about the dangers of excess blue light exposure, especially since our increased screen time has made it more of an issue than ever before. But what makes blue light so dangerous, and how can blue light glasses help?

Blue light can strain your eyes, make it harder for you to sleep, and even cause permanent damage with long-term exposure. Brush up on your blue light knowledge below to learn why using blue light glasses could be one of the smartest things you’ve ever done for your eyes!

What is Blue Light, and Where Does it Come From?

Blue light is exactly what it sounds like — light that falls in the blue range of visible spectrum (the light that we can see). It has higher energy levels than most other visible light, similar to non-visible ultraviolet (UV) rays. However, for most of human history, the main dangerous source of blue light was sunlight. So long as you were shielding your eyes from the sun, you didn’t have to worry about blue light.

In the last few decades, though, another major source of blue light infiltrated our lives: LED-backlit screens. Television, computers, and smartphones put out high levels of blue light, and most people don’t protect their eyes from this excess blue light in any way — which has vision-threatening consequences.

The Dangers of Excessive Blue Light Exposure

Studies have indicated that exposure to blue light is related to alertness and brain functioning, so it’s not inherently harmful to you. But excess blue light, especially at certain times of day, can be damaging to your body and eyes.

Dangers of Blue Light

Sleep Interference

Research has shown that blue light suppresses the production of melatonin (a hormone which regulates sleep) and messes with your circadian rhythm (your natural sleep cycle). Using screens at night without blue light protection can make it harder for you to fall asleep and make your sleep more irregular when you do doze off.

Digital Eye Strain

Digital eye strain is pain and fatigue caused by trying to focus on screens too much. Screens are harder to focus on than other objects because blue light rays are more scattered than other light — that means it provides less visual contrast, and your eyes have to work harder to focus. Because you have to keep your eyes open for longer, prolonged screen use can also lead to dry eye and other unpleasant effects.

Long-Term Damage

Our eyes are actually fairly good at blocking high-energy UV light from penetrating too deeply into the eye. However, because our eyes try to perceive blue light, that blue light gets further into the eye. This has the potential to damage our eyes’ inner structures over time, particularly the sensitive retina.

Eye Disease

Due to blue light reaching sensitive parts of the eye, there is concern that blue light can accumulate enough damage over time to cause retinal diseases like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) to develop earlier, or even in people who might not otherwise have developed these conditions. Long-term research on the topic is inconclusive but potentially concerning, and that concern is only going to grow as screen time increases among the general public.

Are Blue Light Glasses Right for You?

If you spend a lot of time using screens at work, perusing the web at night, or in sunlight, blue light glasses could help protect your sleep cycle and eye health for years to come. Most eyeglasses can have blue light protective lenses applied, and this protection doesn’t impact vision or perception in any way: unlike sunglasses, which are darker than typical glasses, blue light lenses are usually clear.

Our extensive collection of eyeglasses is sure to have frames you’ll love, and we’ll set you up with blue light lenses that can help keep your eyes free of strain and discomfort. We also want to make sure you know that you don’t need to already be a prescription glasses-wearer to use blue light glasses — we can fit you in comfortable frames designed solely for blue light protection!

To learn more about our blue light lenses, schedule an appointment at Bristol Family Eyecare today!