We practically live in front of our screens. The average office worker spends about 6.5 hours on their computer daily, and that’s just for work. It doesn’t take into account the time you spend glued to your phone browsing and posting on social media or the hours you spend binging your favourite series on Netflix. All that time in front of a screen comes with all kinds of unwanted effects like eye strain, headaches, insomnia, with one common source. Blue light.
This is why so many people are opting for blue light blocking glasses. But before we delve too deep into this, here are a few things you should know about blue light.
What is blue light?
The visible light that we see is made up of a whole spectrum of colours; the same colours found in a rainbow.
These colours have different wavelengths and energy levels which determine their characteristics. For instance, red light contains low amounts of energy and has longer wavelengths while blue light contains the highest energy levels and short wavelengths. This high energy makes it the most dangerous component of the visible spectrum of light. It is why blue light is sometimes referred to as High Energy Visible (HEV) light.
Blue light has many sources chief among them being the sun. Apart from that, every other source of visible light also gives off blue light and that includes LEDs, lightbulbs, fluorescent lighting as well as the screens of our various devices.
Blue light has been a cause of concern for many years now and it has been linked to a myriad of health issues. First and foremost is the effect on our sleep. The sun has dictated our schedule since time immemorial and our bodies have developed accordingly.
What does it do?
Blue light keeps you awake and alert during the day while at night. The lack of light triggers the release of melatonin (sleep hormone) to induce sleep. This helps maintain your circadian rhythm. Unfortunately, with the prolonged screen-time that’s prevalent in this day and age, you are subjected to overexposure to blue light at night. This causes insomnia and disrupts your sleep cycle leading to even more health problems.
In addition, blue light has been associated with digital eye strain and even outright blindness. Protection from HEV light is therefore key, and that’s why they are increasingly popular. But what exactly are blue light glasses?
What are anti blue light glasses?
These are glasses that are fitted with filters in their lenses that block or absorb blue light to reduce the amount of blue light that reaches your eyes.
So even if you spend the whole day working, anti-blue light glasses for computers will lessen your exposure to blue light significantly. As night approaches, putting on these glasses means you don’t have to worry about staying awake at night. Blue light blocking glasses also aim to reduce the eye strain when spending so many hours staring at a screen.
So now you’re probably wondering, how do blue light glasses work? While blue light glasses come in many different forms, they work similarly to filter out blue light. There are two main methods used to reduce blue light in the lenses.
Using tinted lenses – You’ve probably seen them with different coloured lenses ranging from yellow to red. These were the main type of blue light glasses around when they were first introduced. The tint of the lenses ensured that more light that matched the colour of the tint reached your eyes while filtering out virtually all the blue light. Nevertheless, despite their effectiveness being under no doubt, they have certain disadvantages. The coloured lenses distort your vision and reduce your visual acuity especially the deeper coloured amber and red lenses. In addition, visibility under low-light conditions is practically non-existent.
Using a coating – In this method, a blue light filtering coating is applied to a clear lens instead of using tinted lenses. The way, the coating selectively filters out blue light before it reaches your eyes. You can identify this type of glasses by the blue reflection on the outer surface of an otherwise clear lens. Unfortunately, the proportion of blue light filtered out is lower than that accomplished by the tinted glasses.
Unless you suffer from severe eye strain, blue light sensitivity or insomnia, coated lenses should be enough to meet your blue light filtering needs. The tinted glasses that filter almost all blue light aren’t worth it when you have to deal with the effects of reduced visual acuity. In fact, for activities like driving or operating machinery that requires good vision, you could be prone to accidents.
Do blue light glasses really work?
Despite their popularity, a lot of scepticism still revolves around their true efficacy. The fact is they do reduce the amount of blue light that reaches your eyes. A study in the Journal of Adolescent Health proved this adequately when a group of young boys wore orange glasses while looking at their phones a few hours before bed. As a result, they felt more sleepy than when they wore clear glasses showing that blue light had a diminished effect on their sleep. An equivalent study on 20 adults showed similar results.
But even though these glasses have been proved to improve sleep, less certainty exists about their ability to prevent digital eye strain (DES) by blocking blue light. That’s because less research on the blue light causing DES exists, at least compared to its effect on sleep. However, early research still suggests blue light adds to visual fatigue and therefore eye strain. But even if that wasn’t the case, many blue light glasses now come with an additional anti-glare coating that works wonders to reduce digital eye strain. So, do they really work? The answer is a resounding yes.
But even with that out of the way, many remain reluctant about owning a pair of blue light blocking glasses. The reason is simple – they wouldn’t ‘be caught dead wearing those ugly, clunky, yellow monstrosities’. Fortunately, if you’re worried about aesthetics, don’t; blue light glasses can be chic and functional without sacrificing either quality. Just take a look at our Ocushield anti-blue light glasses. They are FDA approved blue light glasses that have additional anti-glare, anti-fog and full UV protection. As if that’s not enough, they come in a fashionable unisex style that’s sure to appeal to your aesthetics.
Blue light filtering glasses are effective at reducing your exposure to blue light. Consequently, you have less to worry about when it comes to the adverse effects of blue light that include eye strain, a disrupted sleep cycle, and even age-related macular degeneration. Just keep in mind there are many other ways of reducing blue light exposure from your devices. You can check out our blog for everything you need to know about blue light and how you can protect yourself from its effects.