Manufacturers claim that blue light glasses can filter out blue light and help reduce symptoms such as headaches, eyestrain, and poor sleep. However, research does not support these claims.

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.

There is no scientific research to prove that blue light can damage the eyes or have other health effects. Likewise, there is no evidence that blue light glasses can reduce symptoms associated with looking at a digital screen for long periods.

This article will look at research into blue light and the potential benefits of blue light glasses. It will also explore computer vision syndrome and offer some practical tips for reducing symptoms of this condition.

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Manufacturers design blue light glasses to filter out blue light. The glasses have filtering materials or surface coatings on the lenses that block a portion of blue light.

Manufacturers claim that blue light glasses can prevent blue light from damaging the eyes. People who think that their eye and vision symptoms are due to blue light exposure may wear them to decrease their exposure.

Blue light is a shortwave blue light in the spectrum of colors visible to the human eye. Its wavelength is in the blue portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, roughly 400–500 nanometers (nm). Researchers believe that peak light damage occurs roughly at 440 nm.

Computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and lighting emit blue light.

Most people have daily exposure to blue light due to the increased use of light-emitting diodes (LED), organic LED, and active-matrix organic LED in technology.

According to the American Academy of Opthalmology (AAO), there is no credible scientific evidence that the light from digital screens is harmful. Therefore, the AAO does not recommend people use blue light glasses.

A 2017 systematic review also suggests there is not enough evidence to support the potential benefits of blue light glasses. Retailers have received fines for making misleading claims.

However, some studies suggest that blue light glasses are useful. A small 2019 study suggests that blue light glasses may be beneficial for treating sleep disorders in people with Parkinson’s disease.

Another small 2017 study found that blue light glasses increased sleep quality and duration. These studies are too small to offer generalizable conclusions, and further research is needed.

The AAO suggests avoiding devices for 2–3 hours before bedtime. Using dark or night mode on the device might also help.

The AAO also suggests that rather than experiencing the harmful effects of blue light, some people experience symptoms such as eyestrain and headache from the way they use their digital screens.

People can experience computer vision syndrome (CVS) or digital eyestrain from looking at a screen too often and for long periods. People who spend 2 or more continuous hours at a computer or use a digital screen device every day are most at risk.

Can blue light glasses be harmful?

There appears to be no evidence that blue light glasses are harmful. However, people who wear them may expect them to work and therefore not take other precautions that could help alleviate symptoms associated with screen time.

Several companies manufacture blue light glasses and lenses. Products include:

  • Hi-Vision BlueControl
  • Zeiss DuraVision BlueProtect UV
  • Crizal Prevencia lenses
  • Swisscoat StressFree lenses
  • Gammaray Optix blue light blocking glasses
  • Felix Gray Turing glasses
  • Uvex Skyper blue light blocking glasses
  • Cyxus blue light filtering computer glasses
  • Prospek blue light glasses
  • J+S Vision Blue Light Shield glasses
  • PeeperSpecs Blue Light Focus glasses

Some retailers offer prescription glasses with lenses that filter blue light. These include:

  • BonLook
  • Warby Parker
  • TIJN Eyewear
  • Coastal

There is no credible evidence that blue light filters for prescription glasses are useful. People who want to start wearing blue light glasses can speak with an optometrist or ophthalmologist for recommendations.

Find more blue light glasses here.

The AAO recommends the following tips for avoiding eyestrain:

  • Stay around an arm’s length, or 25 inches, away from screens.
  • Look slightly downwards at the screen.
  • Use the 20-20-20 rule, which involves looking away from the screen to an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes, to give the eyes a break.
  • Use artificial tears to add moisture if the eyes feel dry.
  • Adjust the lighting in a room and the contrast levels of the screen to make it comfortable to look at.
  • Use a matte screen filter if needed.
  • Wear glasses when using a screen, if an optometrist or opthalmologist has prescribed them.

CVS is a collection of eye and vision problems that can occur following prolonged use of digital screens, such as those on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Symptoms of CVS include:

Factors that can cause computer vision syndrome include:

  • poor lighting
  • improper distance between eyes and screen
  • screen glare
  • poor posture

Learn more about CVS here.

Computers, televisions, phones, and tablets all emit blue light. The blue light they emit may not be enough to cause eye or vision damage, even with long-term exposure.

There is no credible scientific evidence to show that blue light damages the eyes or can cause other health issues. There is also no evidence that blue light glasses help reduce symptoms associated with increased exposure to screens.

Instead, eye doctors suggest that the way people use their screens may cause CVS symptoms such as eye fatigue, headaches, and poor sleep.