People have started to worry about the health effects of blue light emitting from screens. For this reason, more and more people are wearing blue light glasses.
These are glasses that contain lenses that partially block short-wave blue light.
Current research has not confirmed whether or not blue light-emitting devices are damaging to eyes and vision. Also, experts are still unsure whether or not wearing blue light glasses can help prevent any potential damage due to long-term exposure to screens.
Keep reading to learn more about blue light glasses and current research investigating them.
Blue light glasses are glasses that manufacturers claim can filter out blue light. The glasses have filtering materials or surface coatings on the lenses that block a portion of blue light.
People who think that their eye and vision symptoms are due to blue light exposure may wear them to decrease their exposure to it.
Blue light itself is a short-wave blue light in the spectrum of colors visible to the human eye. Its wavelength is in the blue portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, which is roughly 400–500 nanometers (nm). Researchers believe that peak light damage occurs roughly at 440 nm.
Computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and general lighting can all expose the eyes to blue light.
Manufacturers claim that blue light glasses can prevent blue light from damaging the eyes. Experts suggest that damage can occur with high doses of blue light but also with a longer duration of less intense exposure.
With the increased use of light-emitting diodes (LED), organic LED, and active-matrix organic LED in technology, people now have chronic exposure to blue light. Experts cannot rule out a yet undiscovered risk of chronic, day-long exposure to LED and blue light.
Some experts suggest that the low levels of blue light emitted from devices are not hazardous, even with prolonged exposure. A 2017 systematic review suggests that there is not enough evidence to support the potential benefits of blue light glasses, and some advertisers have received fines for making misleading claims.
Other researchers have demonstrated that exposure to short-wave light from devices before bedtime may disrupt sleep patterns. A small 2019 study suggests that blue light glasses may be beneficial for treating sleep disorders in people with Parkinson’s disease.
Manufacturers of blue light glasses claim that they help reduce headaches, reduce eye strain, and improve melatonin secretion to reduce symptoms from blue light exposure. Researchers have not confirmed whether or not blocking blue light reduces symptoms following prolonged exposure to screens.
Some experts believe that instead of blue light toxicity, people may be experiencing symptoms from overusing technology. Computer vision syndrome, or digital eye strain, is a group of eye and vision problems that result from chronic exposure to screens.
Further study is necessary to determine whether or not devices can emit enough blue light to harm the eyes and vision. Long-term studies are necessary to investigate the harmful effects, if any, of chronic daily exposure to screens.
Several companies manufacture blue light glasses. The following is a list of some available blue light glasses:
- Hi-Vision BlueControl
- Zeiss DuraVision BlueProtect UV
- Crizal Prevencia
- StressFree Anti-Blue Light Lenses
- StressFree Noflex Blue Light Reduction
- Gamma Ray Blue Light Blocking Glasses
- Felix Gray Turning Glasses
- Uvex Skyper Blue Light Blocking Computer Glasses
- Cyxus Blue Light Filter Computer Glasses
- J + S Vision Blue Light Shield Glasses
- Prospek Premium Computer Glasses
- PeeperSpecs Focus Blue Light Filtering Glasses
Other eyeglass companies are also offering prescription glasses with blue light-filtering lenses. Some online retailers offering blue light lenses include:
- Warby Parker
- TIJN Eyewear
Researchers have not investigated all of these glasses in clinical studies. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not regulate blue light-filtering technology for glasses.
People who want to start wearing blue light glasses should speak with an optometrist or ophthalmologist for recommendations.
Computers, televisions, phones, and tablets all emit blue light. The blue light emitted from these devices may not be enough to cause eye or vision damage, even with long-term exposure.
However, further studies are necessary to confirm whether or not blue light emitted from these devices is harmful.
Experts are also unsure whether or not blue light glasses are helpful for symptoms associated with increased exposure to screens. Eye doctors suggest that eye fatigue, headaches, and poor sleep may be associated with computer vision syndrome instead of blue light exposure.