Blue light glasses. Maybe you’ve heard about them, and how they’re supposed to be good for your eye care by reducing the amount of blue light you come in contact with every day. We spend a lot of time staring at screens in today’s world, after all.
Blue light glasses are supposed to help you scale back the amount of blue light hitting your eyes. The market claims they help reduce eye strain and sleep problems, but do they actually work?
How Do Blue Light Glasses Work?
According to U.S. patent 7255435, the inventor of the blue light blocking lens is Steven G. Pratt, an ophthalmologist. The glasses work by blocking a substantial amount of light wavelengths from the blue light spectrum.
The Effectiveness of Blue Light Glasses Regarding Eye Care
But does blocking blue light really lead to an improvement in your eye care? Most professionals argue that it doesn’t.
According to an article published on the American Academy of Ophthalmology, there is no solid evidence that blue light harms your eyes. Instead, that eye strain and fatigue you feel after looking at a digital screen for too long is a result of not blinking often enough due to how focused you are on the screen. Rather than using blue light glasses, they recommend taking frequent breaks to look away from your digital device.
A study conducted in 2021 found no difference in the amount of eye strain in participants who used blue-blocking lenses and those who used clear lenses, throwing more doubt onto the probability that blue light glasses do anything special for your eyes.
So, as far as optometry goes, blue light glasses aren’t going to help you much.
Blue Light Glasses and Your Sleep Cycle
That doesn’t mean blue light glasses are completely worthless, however. Research has shown that exposure to blue light affects your circadian (or sleep) cycle by suppressing the amount of melatonin your body normally produces. This may not be a big deal during the day when you are getting hit with blue light naturally as well as from electronic devices, but if your screen time extends to after dark, your ability to fall asleep at bedtime can be disrupted.
Blue light glasses may help in this regard if you refuse to go without screen time for the hour or two before going to sleep. So, if you play games or read or scroll through social media on devices that produce blue light to help you relax before bed, investing in a pair of blue light glasses may still be worth it.
The Take Away
In the end, whether you think blue light glasses work depends on what you’re using them for. The scientific evidence pushes that they have no real optometric value, but they can help you regulate your sleep cycle if you (like so many others) use your smartphone or other electric screens in the couple of hours before going to sleep.