Do Blue-Light-Blocking Glasses Work?

A woman sits at a desk and looks at her laptop. Does she need blue-light-blocking glasses?

Photo by Mikhail Nilov:

In the 21st century, many occupations require computer or laptop usage. Therefore, many people look at a computer or digital screen for long periods. Medical professionals note that looking at a digital screen for an extended time can cause headaches or eye strain due to the artificial blue light emitting from electronic devices. Blue-light-blocking glasses are a relatively new solution to this modern problem. Do they really work?

What are blue-light-blocking glasses?

Blue-light-blocking glasses house filters that reportedly block or absorb blue light emitting from digital screens. Some of these lenses even claim to block UV light from your eyes. Why are blue-light glasses necessary? The problem lies in the side effects of being exposed to this artificial blue light for a long period. Medical professionals refer to the side effects as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) or Digital Eye Strain (DES). The side effects may include headaches, sensitivity to light, neck and back pain, burning feeling in the eyes, and blurred or decreased vision. Digital blue light can also disrupt your sleep schedule by altering your body’s circadian rhythm. This natural process initiates the sleep and wake schedule for your body.

Do blue-light-blocking glasses really work?

Researchers in 2020 performed a double-blind test of blue-blocking filters on eye-strained participants. A group of 24 individuals read for 20 minutes on an electronic tablet device and then completed a questionnaire to determine any symptoms of DES. The results displayed a significant increase in side effects from reading the tablet but not enough evidence to suggest that the blue-light-blocking lenses positively impacted the subjects. In a 2023 study, researchers found that blue-light filtering lenses may not weaken the symptoms associated with eye strain from computer use. Several more studies suggest there is no difference between wearing these special glasses and not wearing them. Some people believe there could be a placebo effect and note that their eyes feel less tired at the end of the workday.

How else can I help my eyes?

The Cleveland Clinic quotes Ophthalmologist Nicole Bajic about another type of eyewear, light sensitivity glasses. Dr. Bajic states that people who experience migraines should try wearing glasses with FL-41 tint. These rose-colored glasses filter out blue and green wavelengths and may help reduce eye stress.

You can also try reducing your computer screen’s glare by closing window blinds or positioning your screen so ceiling lights or lamps do not reflect light on the monitor screen. Experts also recommend applying the 20-20-20 rule to those enduring much screen time. Your eyes can refocus when you look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. You may also want to increase the font size on your computer screen because reading a smaller font can add stress to your eyes. Another simple yet challenging strategy involves not looking at your phone as much as possible. Encourage your family and friends to call you instead of texting. When you are at home, try leaving your phone in another room. Some people even have electronic-free Saturdays or Sundays to avoid screen time and spend more quality time with family. As usual, best practices include speaking with your ophthalmologist about the technique that suits you best.

If you find this article informative, please read another helpful post about how eating grapes can help your eyes and brain.

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About Joey Hinojosa

Joey Hinojosa graduated with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism and a master's degree in mass communications. He began working at Empower Brokerage in early 2022 and enjoys being creative in his writing, photography, videography, and other projects.

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