A recent study suggests that they might not have any significant effect on reducing fatigue, eye strain, or improving sleep
There are many claims that blue light glasses help in relieving migraines, eye strain, sleep disturbances, and fatigue. However, there is a new analysis that undermines these claims.
First, what are blue light glasses? Blue light glasses or blue light blocking glasses are special eyewear made for the purpose of filtering or blocking out blue light which is emitted by electronic devices. On the other hand, blue light is a type of high-energy visible (HEV) light which has a wavelength of about 400-450 nanometers.
Since the pandemic of Covid-19, more people have resorted to working from home thus subjecting themselves to spending more time in front of computers and other useful devices. On the average, remote employees spend 13 hours a day in front of a computer screen which causes prolonged exposure to blue light. As such, more screen time poses more health hazards such as digital eye strain, headaches, disrupted sleep patterns, and some others.
Of course, blue light glasses came to alleviate the health problems caused by prolonged exposure to blue light. Particularly, they seem like a savior to people who spend extended periods in front of screens or use electronic devices in low-light environments. These glasses have become many peoples’ choices when it comes to combating the consequences of blue light exposure.
But, is getting a blue light glass really the solution to reducing the dangers attached to blue light? Are blue light glasses really worth the hype?
In recent years, there has been significant discussion within the optical community regarding the value of blue-light filtering spectacle lenses. Studies have revealed that these lenses are increasingly being prescribed to patients globally, and various marketing claims have emerged, touting their purported advantages.
In a recent analysis, as published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, researchers compared blue light blocking glasses to non-blue light blocking glasses and discovered that there is no significant difference between them. The researchers, led by Laura Downie (PhD), a Dame Kate Campbell Fellow and head of the Downie Laboratory: Anterior Eye, Clinical Trials and Research Translation Unit, at the University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, drew their conclusions from the analysis of 17 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) from six countries. With this discovery, the blue light blocking glasses may not be really worth the money.
While recent findings have cast doubt on the efficacy of blue light glasses in significantly improving visual comfort, it’s imperative to explore alternative measures to mitigate the impacts of blue light exposure and bolster overall visual health.
- Mindful Screen Time Management: Foremost, consider moderating the duration spent staring at digital screens. Extended screen use tends to overwork certain facets of our visual system while overlooking others that are crucial for comprehensive visual health.
- Consistent Blinking: If professional or personal commitments demand prolonged screen interactions, it’s essential to cultivate the habit of regular blinking. Continuous screen viewing can inhibit the natural blink reflex, leading to dryness and discomfort. Aim to blink intentionally every few seconds to keep the eyes moistened.
- 20-20-20 Rule: Another pragmatic approach is to employ the 20-20-20 rule. This entails taking a deliberate pause every 20 minutes to shift your gaze to an object placed approximately 20 feet away, focusing on it for a full 20 seconds. This practice aids in alleviating potential eye strain caused by fixed, close-up focus.
- Optimal Screen Brightness: It’s also beneficial to adjust the screen brightness to harmonize with your surrounding environment. Excessive brightness can heighten eye strain. Find a balance where the screen is neither too bright nor so dim that it forces you to squint or strain your eyes to decipher its content.
- Ambient Lighting and Ergonomics: Ensure that the room lighting complements your screen’s brightness. Position your screen in a way that reduces glare and reflections. The screen should ideally be at or slightly below eye level, allowing your eyes to look slightly downward.
- Regular Eye Check-ups: Schedule periodic eye examinations. A professional can offer personalized advice, recommend visual exercises, and identify early signs of vision issues.
- Blue Light Glasses – Use with Discretion: While the actual benefits of blue light glasses may be debatable, they aren’t intrinsically harmful. Some users report subjective improvements in comfort. As long as there are no significant discomforts or headaches attributed directly to their use, wearing them remains a personal choice.
In conclusion, visual health in our digital age demands a proactive approach. Whether or not one opts for blue light glasses, integrating a combination of the aforementioned strategies can foster enhanced visual comfort and longevity.