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What you should know about blue light glasses

close up on a pair of glasses on a desk

Natural blue light is all around you every day. However, in the digital age, the average person’s eyes are exposed to excessive amounts from phones, laptops and other devices. Recently, sales of blue-light-blocking glasses have exploded, as people have become interested in protecting their eyes from their screens. If you’re considering purchasing a pair of these specialty glasses, here’s what you should know before you decide.

What is blue light?

Blue light has the shortest wavelength and highest energy in the visible light spectrum (red light has the longest wavelengths and lowest energy). The vast majority of exposure to blue light comes naturally from the sun. Blue light has many benefits to human health, including increased alertness, elevating mood and regulating your body’s wake-sleep cycle or circadian rhythm. Digital devices also radiate blue light, but compared to the sun, the amount emitted from these devices is tiny. Nevertheless, there’s increasing concern about its health effects.

Is blue light harmful?

According to the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO), “there is no clinical evidence that artificial blue light at low intensity and shorter exposure periods is harmful to the eye.” However, cumulative exposure to blue light over a lifetime has been shown to cause eye problems such as cataracts and symptoms of macular degeneration. Optometrists recommend wearing sunglasses with UV protection when outdoors to prevent these conditions. Additionally, blue light decreases your body’s production of melatonin. Therefore, artificial blue light, especially at night, can cause sleep disruptions and daytime fatigue. Children are more at risk of these symptoms as their eyes absorb more blue light than adults.

What are blue light glasses?

Blue light glasses have special lenses which prevent blue light wavelengths from passing through them. Manufacturers claim the glasses protect your eyes from the glare from digital screens and the adverse health effects of blue light exposure.

Do you need blue light glasses?

There’s no broad consensus on the benefits of wearing blue light glasses. However, if you spend excessive time in front of a computer, you may want to consider buying a pair to improve sleep and ward off the long-term effects of blue light exposure. The CAO says purchasing these glasses is an individual choice, best made with an optometrist. Keep in mind, many effects of prolonged screen time, such as eye irritation and dry eyes, aren’t caused by blue light. You can alleviate symptoms of digital eye strain by taking breaks from your screen every 20 minutes, sitting at least 60 centimetres away from your screen, and using optometrist-approved eye drops.

Specialty lenses and eyeglasses in Edmonton

At Optometrists Clinic Inc., we carry a wide assortment of specialty lenses including, digital lenses, anti-fog lenses, and lenses designed to help those who experience migraines and headaches. To schedule an appointment with an optometrist or learn more about our specialty lenses,contact us today.


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