If you haven’t already encountered them, blue light glasses are donning the faces of more people each and every year. As people spend more time with their devices, they are looking for ways to stay healthy while doing that.
Computer Vision Syndrome, also called Digital Eye Strain, affects tons of people each and every year. Strained eyes, headaches, and blurred vision are just a few symptoms that many people experience. Blue light glasses are a potential solution to this problem caused by computer screens.
What Are Blue Light Glasses?
Blue light glasses, or blue light blocking glasses, are eyewear that works to protect your eyes from harmful blue light emitted by digital screens.
They come in all different shapes and sizes, but the core premise is the same. These computer glasses are designed specifically to filter out specific wavelengths of the light spectrum. The harmful blue light is typically emitted at blue wavelengths somewhere between 400 and 550nm.
Blue blocking eyeglasses are engineered to prevent those wavelengths of light from getting to your eyes. However, that begs the question, why would you want to filter out the amount of blue light that reaches your eyes?
Why Is Blue Light Bad?
Blue light is not something new that’s been created with digital devices. Visible light from the sun comes in wavelengths, too.
During the day, you’ll see primarily blue light coming down from the sun. At the end of the day when the sun goes down, that changes to a yellow, and eventually orange, color.
When you see blue light, your brain gets stimulated by that. This may sound like a great thing, but when your brain is constantly being stimulated it can lead to unwanted symptoms such as headaches or blurred vision.
However, in the digital age, people are spending more and more time with their computers and smartphones. Most people spend at least a few hours a day on them, while others spend close to 11 hours each day looking at a screen.
Many of these hours are late at night. Whether it’s watching TV in bed or scrolling through your Instagram feed, you are exposing yourself to blue light late in the day, which can have an impact on your circadian rhythms and your eye health.
Blue light may also be linked to problems like headaches, eye strain, dry eyes, and blurry vision.
How Do Blue Light Glasses Work?
With that in mind, many companies have begun to manufacture blue light protection or filtering glasses. These are designed with lenses that keep out the blue light when you’re looking at a screen.
Since wavelengths of light range from blue to yellow, many blue light glasses have a yellow tint to the lenses. This is not always the case, but you will often see this.
They are especially helpful to those who have to spend their whole workday looking at a screen or those who have a lot of late-night screen time.
How to Test Blue Light Glasses?
If you’re purchased a pair of blue light glasses, you may want to test them to see if they actually work. There are a couple of different ways to test blue light glasses.
The first quick test you can try is to just hold the glasses up to a light. Take a look at what color the light reflecting off of the glasses is. If you see blue light being reflected back, that’s a good sign that they are doing their job.
If the light reflected doesn’t have any specific color, that may mean the filter is not working as intended.
Test Blue Light Glasses With an Image
The next test you can try is by looking at an image with a blue square and a black square. When looking at the two squares on a standard screen, the left one should be black, and the other should be blue.
If you are wearing high-quality, functioning blue light blocking glasses, then they should look nearly identical. This is because the blue light showing from the screen is being filtered out, leaving only the black behind.
You can do this same test with anything on your screen that has the color blue in it. Look at it with and without your glasses and see if there’s a difference. If you can’t notice the difference, then there is a problem.
Use Blue Light Filtering Software
You can also try using some kind of blue light blocking software to test your glasses. Most devices have some way of doing this, whether it be night shift on Apple devices or the blue light filter on Android. You can also use a third party option like f.lux.
Turn the software on and look at the screen without your glasses. Then, turn the software off and put your glasses back on. Depending on the setting of your software, the two images should look similar if not exactly the same.
The software does basically the same thing that blue light glasses do, but not all devices have this capability.
Look at a Spectrum Report
Most companies that sell blue light glasses will have a spectrum report on hand that shows how much blue light the glasses actually filter. This is the only way to know for sure whether or not your glasses are actually blue light blocking glasses.
In general, you want to make sure 30 percent or more of harmful blue light is filtered out. At Look Optic, our glasses filter out 53% of hazardous blue light.
If a company doesn’t tell you this information, don’t be afraid to ask for it. You want to be sure that you’re getting a quality product.
Try Them Out
Most importantly, you have to just try them for yourself. Get a pair of blue light glasses and wear them for a few days. You will likely see improvements in your eye condition within a couple of days.
Many manufacturers even offer a trial period with blue light glasses so that you have a chance to make sure they work for you. For instance, here at Look Optic, we offer a one-year guarantee and free returns for 90 days on all of our blue light glasses.
If you have never tried them, you won’t really know if they will help you or not until you do. Take a chance. We even cover the shipping if you decide to send them back.
Should I Buy Blue Light Glasses?
If you’re still on the fence about whether you need blue light glasses, you can ask yourself a few questions. These will help you determine if they might be helpful for you.
- Are you experiencing any eye strain or soreness?
- Are you getting headaches after using any digital devices?
- Is your vision blurred?
- Do you have trouble falling and staying asleep at night?
- Does your job require you to spend hours each day looking at a digital screen?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, blue light glasses may be a great option for you.
Can I Buy Blue Light Glasses Without a Prescription?
Yes, you can! Lots of companies offer blue light glasses as either reading glasses or with no magnification at all. Many people have perfect 20-20 vision, but they still need protection from blue light.
However, if you already have prescription glasses, that’s okay too. You can usually add a blue light filter to prescription lenses, as well. You just need to make that selection when you purchase your glasses in the same way you would an anti-glare or scratch-resistant coating.
Other Ways to Help Reduce Digital Eye Strain
In addition to getting a pair of blue light glasses, there are other steps you can take to help protect your eyes. The American Association of Ophthalmology recommends a few precautions you can take.
The first and most important thing you can do is to take frequent breaks. The AAO recommends following the 20-20-20 rule.
Every 20 minutes, you should look at something that is 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a chance to rest and reset, which is incredibly important. In addition, you should also stay at least an arm’s length away from your computer or smartphone screen.
The screen should also typically be just below eye level rather than above. This is more comfortable and healthy for most people.
Lastly, make sure you also take actual breaks. They recommend that every two hours, you should rest your eyes for at least 15 minutes. Whether that’s by going for a quick walk, grabbing a cup of coffee, or anything else, you just want to be sure to give your eyes a chance to really rest up.
If you do purchase a pair of blue light glasses, make sure to test them using one of the methods above. You want to be sure they are working properly before you use them for an extended period of time.