As our screen time has only increased during this unprecedented year of the pandemic, there’s also been a rise in consumer interest in blue light blocking non-prescription glasses.
So what is blue light, what are the myths and facts about these glasses, and how can you best protect your vision moving forward?
What is blue light?
Blue light is a unique type of light that we are exposed to from staring at any number of screens – including phones, TVs, computers and tablets. It does affect the body’s circadian rhythm, our natural wake and sleep cycles, with both positive and negative consequences. While it helps to keep us awake and stimulated during the day, too much exposure at night can also make it more difficult to fall asleep.
Interestingly, the largest source of blue light is sunlight – not computers and phones. While it is important to limit all types of exposure, we should keep in mind that there is more blue light exposure from the sun than there is from digital screens.
The latest myths
As a result of increased screen time and exposure, many companies are advertising blue light blocking glasses to protect against the harmful effects of prolonged screen time. They claim that their products can prevent any number of problems – including eye strain, sleep cycle disruption and even blindness.
There is a lack of scientific evidence to support these claims and ophthalmology experts have more to say on that…
Facts from the experts
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), “There is no scientific evidence that the light coming from computer screens is damaging to the eyes. Because of this, the Academy does not recommend any special eye wear for computer use.”
While there are certainly consequences to extended screen time – decreased blinking, eye strain, fatigue – blue light blocking glasses have not been proven to improve symptoms of digital eye strain. Because of the lack of scientific evidence that blue light is damaging to the eyes, AAO does not recommend them.
How to best protect your vision
If blue light blocking glasses are not a recommended solution at this time, what can you do to prevent eye strain or injury from prolonged screen usage? Here are a few tips:
- Get a comprehensive eye exam where an eye doctor can completely evaluate the current state of your vision
- Sit at least an arm’s length away from your screen, with the screen tilted slightly downward
- Take regular breaks from screens to allow your eyes time to refresh and reset
- If your eyes feel dry, use artificial tears to moisten them
- Give your eyes a break from contact lenses, if you wear them, and periodically switch to your glasses
Think you may be suffering from eye strain? Request an eye strain evaluation today so our experts can help you find comfort and relief.