In 2020 a lot of people had to work from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. This required them to be on their computer screens for longer hours and tv screen time also increased. The increase in screen time was a big win for the blue light glasses industry as sales shot up to a dramatic high. More and more people bought blue light protective glasses and it seemed like they were effective.
What Is Blue Light?
Blue light is one of the many hues of visible light. The main source of blue light is from the sun but there are so many artificial sources of blue light around us. Computer screens, phone, television, fluorescent bulbs, LED lights and other digital devices, all emit blue light.
The circadian rhythm relies on blue light, that is, the body's natural clock that regulates sleep and wake time. Blue light stimulates melatonin, the hormone that induces sleep. Blue light can also improve your mood, aid cognitive function and keep you alert.
The thing is, blue light isn't entirely harmful but like with all things, you need moderation. Exposing the eyes to too much sunlight or having long hours of screen time can lead to eyestrain. Now the issue is, some experts say it is not blue light that causes eyestrain, instead, it's digital overuse.
There are many reasons why you could have eye problems and blue light has not been scientifically confirmed to cause eye strain. As with other body parts, the eyes also get tired from overuse. Looking at screens for too long can stress the eyes because you spend less time blinking and it is often advised you take breaks if you work long hours on your computer.
Too much exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun increases the risks of eye diseases, including cataracts, growths on the eye and cancer. We know less about blue light. Its effects are still being researched. - American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Do Blue Light Glasses Really Work?
Blue light glasses are said to block the blue light emitted from all blue light sources. The glasses manufacturers claim the eyes do not have enough blue light blockers and the glasses shield the eyes from blue light. These glasses are quite popular with office workers and gamers especially, many of who give positive reviews about the glasses.
A quick search online for blue light glasses user review will have you thinking these glasses definitely work but the experts do not think so.
“The best scientific evidence currently available does not support the use of blue-blocking spectacle lenses in the general population to improve visual performance, alleviate the symptoms of eye fatigue or visual discomfort, improve sleep quality or conserve macula health.” - College of Optometrists, UK
Some one-time users and experts believe the glasses do not work and their effectiveness is based solely on the placebo effect. I wanted to find out for myself if indeed they work so I went looking and got one of them recently. I made my choice of frames and the lenses were changed to a blue light blocker lens. I believe some sort of chemical is applied to the lens for the blue light blocker effect.
It cost me a total of 6000NGN ($12) to get the glasses done and it came with a free case and lens wipe. This is relatively cheap compared to the one of $70 I found at an eye clinic. The price came as a surprise because I had checked on sites like Amazon and it wasn't that high. I was then told there are cheaper variations but they weren't as effective as the $70 glasses.
I wasn't willing to try out this experiment for that price so I got the cheaper one instead at an eyewear store. It's basically the same as the ones reviewed on the shopping sites online. My glasses also has a photochromic function that makes the lens darken when in sunlight, doubling as sunshades.
My first impression was that it had the eyecare function effect I get on my phone. The light from my phone screen appeared warmer and generally, bright light appeared in warmer tones. I immediately agreed it worked and it wasn't just a placebo effect. My husband also got a pair and he says it's very effective.
It worked quite alright but I can't tell if it's blue light being blocked and there being no scientific evidence yet makes me not believe my own eyes, literally! I have reduced my use of the glasses because I happen to get eye strain from wearing them. Yes.
This is something that also happens when I wear sunshades, they help shield my eyes for a while and eventually give me eyestrain and headaches. I've gotten my eyes tested before and I have some form of astigmatism which is likely the cause. I guess I might just get proper prescription lenses with blue light protection instead of the cheap ones that counter their primary function for me.
Blue light glasses provide relief to the eyes especially if you're like me who's sensitive to light. What I can't give a verdict on is if blue light is the culprit. However, I advise you get the glasses and also take short breaks when working on your screen.
From all test and observation herein, I have come to a conclusion that;
Blue light glasses are just sunshades in clear lenses. - @wolfofnostreet
Don't quote me anywhere please 😄 Thanks for reading!