Blue light blocking glasses has been a trending topic. These are glasses or lenses that are specially designed to block blue light that emits from LED or CFL lights, computer monitors, phones, TVs, and other digital screens. Blue light can come from almost any light source including the sun.
Our current lifestyles expose our eyes to more blue light for longer periods during the day. Where previously we may have only been exposed to blue light from the sun, many people now spend more hours in front of screens or under fluorescent lights throughout the day and after the sun has gone down. For some, this exposure can cause eye strain and physical discomfort.
Benefits of Blue Light
Blue light can boost our moods, help with memory and cognitive function, and make us more alert. Blue light is an important factor in regulating our circadian rhythm - the body’s natural wake and sleep cycle.
The growth and development of children’s eyes could be affected by not getting enough blue light from the sunlight. Some studies are showing that a deficiency in blue light exposure could contribute to the recent increase in myopia.
Blue Light and Damage to the Eyes
There is not currently enough evidence to suggest that blue light from digital screens will cause any harm. Intense blue light from sunlight can raise the risk of macular degeneration, cataracts, and other eye diseases, the same level is not emitted from computers or other artificial blue light sources.
More studies are needed to understand if blue light from monitors causes optic damage but there is no harm in wearing blue light blocking lenses.
There is some concern that long-term exposure, the nearness of screens, and the length of time spent on them could affect eyes over time and lead to digital eye strain. People also tend to blink less while looking at screens causing the eyes to feel dry, irritated, or burn.
Discuss any concerns you have with your eye health with your local optometrist. Factors such as age, eye conditions, length of exposure, and general eye health can play a role in your decision to use blue light blocking lenses. Your primary eye care doctor will be able to help you make an informed decision.
What is known, is that too much blue light exposure at night can disrupt the circadian rhythm. This can lead to problems with sleep which affects your overall health.
Digital Eye Strain
A survey from the American Optometric Society found that most adults, 58%, experience some form of digital eye strain. The study conducted in 2015 noted the average U.S. worker spends about seven hours a day on the computer at work or home. A more recent survey showed that at the end of 2019, U.S. adults were spending almost 12 hours in front of a screen. The increased screen time may create digital eye strain for some individuals. It may also make symptoms of digital eye strain worse.
Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain
Individuals can experience digital eye strain differently. Common symptoms can include:
- Dry eyes
- Blurry vision
- Tearing or watery eyes
- Neck strain
How to Ease Digital Eye Strain
There are steps you can take to reduce digital eye strain:
- Take breaks from screens often
- Increase the contrast on your screen
- Use artificial tears
- Try to minimize glare
- Blink frequently.
Choosing Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Although science hasn’t been able to verify that blue light causes eye diseases, many people who’ve tried a pair of blue light blocking glasses have found them to be effective at improving sleep and reducing eye strain. They can protect your eyes from artificial blue light.
We use Zeiss lenses at Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses offering superior technology. Blue light blocking technology is incorporated into the lenses themselves as opposed to just using coatings that provide up to 50% less reflection. Together this can help to reduce digital eye strain and eye fatigue.
Zeiss lenses can fit into any frames. Our Albuquerque clinic has some great eyeglass frames from Etnia Barcelona, Modo, Eco, Ovvo, and more for you to choose from. Our experts can help you choose the perfect frames and lenses for your vision needs and lifestyle.
It is also important to protect the eyes from the sun. Wear UV-blocking sunglasses when outside. We also carry sunglasses and can help you find the best pair for you.
If you have concerns about eye strain or about the amount of time you spend looking at screens, book an appointment and discuss blue light blocking lenses with an optometrist at our Albuquerque clinic.