In the past year or so, the fad of blue light glasses has been sweeping through schools, homes and offices everywhere. Many people who spend a significant amount of time in front of screens (computers, phones, tablets, etc.) purchase or consider purchasing blue light glasses to protect their eyes.
So what exactly are these glasses claiming to protect you from? And do blue light glasses work?
The light spectrum of the sun contains many different colors that combine to make white light, what we know as sunlight. Each color (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, etc) has a different wavelength, which affects the degree of energy. Blue and violet light has the shortest wavelength and therefore highest energy of all colors in the visible light spectrum. Basically, this type of light is pretty intense.
What most people don’t realize is that the most significant amount of blue light that our eyes are exposed to actually comes from the sun. So any time you are outdoors without protective eyewear, you are being exposed to blue light.
Though the sun gives off the greatest intensity of blue light, television screens and other electronic devices do emit a great amount. However, the concern isn’t the amount of blue light emitted from these devices, it’s the time spent staring at these screens that has eyecare professionals concerned about the long-term effects.
If you are experiencing headaches, blurry vision or other signs of eye strain after being exposed to screens for an extended amount of time during the day, it’s most likely not being caused by blue light emission, but digital eye strain from concentrating your vision on the same thing for so long.
While you can take precautions from blue light emission with blue light glasses, the best thing you can do for your eyes is let them rest by taking regular breaks from all screens throughout the day.