In today’s digital age, we rely on devices more than ever before—for everything from watching television and working on computers to scrolling through our phones before sleeping. Yet, with so much technology and digital tools at our disposal, our exposure to blue light has become more prevalent.
Though the sun is the biggest source of blue light, our devices—computer monitors, smartphones, and flatscreen televisions—have also become primary sources of artificial blue light as our dependence on them increases. Too much exposure to this light can cause eye strain, poor sleep quality, and long-term vision problems. New studies add that the damaging effects of this overexposure can worsen as we age.
Given the various health risks attributed to blue light overexposure, one good practice would be protecting our eyes. Wearing blue light glasses is one of the best things you can do to achieve this. Here’s what you need to know about them.
What Are Blue Light Glasses?
Blue light glasses use lenses that either reflect or absorb blue light to prevent it from reaching the eyes and minimize its effect on one’s overall vision. Though they’re usually used to block artificial blue light emitted by digital devices, there are different types of blue light glasses you can buy depending on your needs. For example, you can get a pair that doesn’t just protect you from both natural and artificial blue light but also uses a selective filtering system to block UV rays. You can also purchase blue light glasses that come with transition lenses. These automatically darken outdoors to protect your eyes from harmful light. That means these glasses can be used both indoors and outdoors to prevent overexposure to blue light.
Benefits of blue light glasses
Given the extra layer of protection blue light glasses give, you’re probably wondering if you should use them. Below are some reasons that might compel you to get a pair.
Improved Sleep Quality
Looking at screens at night exposes you to blue light that can mimic the sun’s wavelengths. This can keep you awake for longer, push your bedtime further away, and worsen your overall sleep quality. Using blue light glasses will block it and prevent it from disrupting the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for managing our sleep-wake cycle.
Reduced Eye Strain
Staring at your computer or mobile screen for too long can cause digital eye strain and dryness. When our eyes are dry, we tend to rub them excessively until they feel sore. To prevent this, the Hindustan Times recommends using blue light filters, and that’s exactly what blue light glasses offer. By blocking blue light, you’ll strain your eyes less, prevent them from drying out, and ultimately be more comfortable when you need to use digital devices for longer.
Lowered Risk of Long-Term Vision Problems
Research shows that overexposure to blue light can cause long-term vision problems like age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is the most common cause of blindness in developed countries. Using blue light glasses can, therefore, lower your risk of developing the condition. If you choose to get a pair that also shields against UV rays, you’ll be hitting two birds with one stone: overexposure to the sun can also speed the progression of AMD.
As we integrate technology into our daily lives, we must also prepare for the risks that come with it. And measures as simple as wearing protective eyewear can go a long way to protect your health.