How Blue Light Blocking Eyeglasses Can Protect Your Eyes and Help You Sleep Better
If you’re a night owl or a social media addict, you probably know already that screens can really make your eyes hurt. Every minute spent front of a device without eye strain protection impacts the long-term health of your eyes.
When you’re reading the news, watching a film or playing a video game, a pair of blue light protection glasses is the best way to keep your eyes safe and healthy.. You probably already know them as PC or computer glasses.
Read on to find out whether blue light glasses work, how to protect your eyes from blue light and the potential for some blue light glasses benefits.
What Are Computer Glasses?
Computer reading glasses help your eyes adjust to and accommodate the specific type of light that emanates from device screens. They are a type of prescription glasses for use with computers and other digital devices.
As the typical computer user reads at a different distance from their device than they would when reading from a book, computer eyeglasses have to accommodate this and be customized to your individual needs.
The best computer glasses not only correct your vision for reading on a screen but also have anti blue light properties to shield your eyes from the harmful blue light rays that can damage your retina.
Blue Light Protection Glasses
There are several ways to filter blue light on a laptop, television, computer or other device. There are even some apps that can modify your screen’s color temperature. However, the science behind these shortcuts is not certain, as this Wired article shows, so the safest way to protect your eyes is with a pair of PC protection eyeglasses with blue light filter.
What Are Blue Light Filter Glasses?
Blue light filter glasses are eyeglasses or sunglasses that absorb a large amount of blue light. This is achieved through a combination of lens material and a special coating applied to the lenses. Most lenses also reflect part of the blue light away from your eyes.
Not all blue light is damaging – some of it is necessary for proper vision. By absorbing just the right amount of harmful light, a blue light filter is useful for your eyes in many situations, like at work, when you’re reading on a tablet or phone, and outdoors on bright, sunny days..
Best Glasses to Filter Blue Light
Redular glasses and readers don’t typically block blue light. When you get a new pair of eyeglasses, you can opt to add blue light filtering to your glasses lenses as an extra feature. You can also get computer glasses with blue light and anti-reflective coatings even if you don’t need a prescription.
COPA sunglasses – Get them here!
You may be wondering, “Do sunglasses block blue light? Do polarized or mirror sunglasses block blue light?” These are good questions! Some sunglasses with colored lenses can block some of the blue light from devices, but this isn’t the most effective solution because wearing dark sunglasses indoors can be cumbersome and obscure your regular vision.
Yellow-tinted and amber lenses are the only two colors that are good for filtering blue light from the visible light spectrum. However, the colored tint of the lenses will also distort all other colors, whether you are using these shades in front of the laptop in the office or on the street.
Tinted computer glasses with yellow lenses are also commonly sold as video game glasses, as they improve eye comfort by increasing contrast and reducing some of the tiring blue light. Polarized sunglasses can help in this way, too, though they may be too dark for indoor use.
How to Tell If Glasses Block Blue Light
The most accurate way to test your glasses for protection from the computer screen is by using a device called a transmittance spectrum. Simply point the instrument at your blue light source as it is, and then take the measurement again, this time through the lens of your eyeglasses. If your anti-blue light glasses work, the graph will look like this. Alternatively, you can take your glasses to an licensed optician for measurement and testing.
Though not as accurate, an easier way to tell if your glasses block blue light is to look through them at a color graph such as this one. If your computer Rx glasses are good at filtering blue light, there should be no noticeable difference between the two graphs when you look through them.
How Does Blue Light Affect Your Eyes?
Blue light is a natural part of the visible light spectrum, making up about 25 percent of all sunlight. It is also produced by electronic screens and energy-efficient light bulbs with low color temperatures.
Because it has the shortest wavelength of all visible light, blue light carries a high amount of energy. Long-term exposure to it, such as looking at a computer or cell phone screen every day — can cause serious damage to the retina.
If you’re a night owl, another effect of blue light you should consider is its impact on your natural sleep and wake cycle. On a typical day, your brain uses blue light from the sun to regulate sleep, boost alertness and mood, and contribute to your general well-being.
However, too much blue light after dawn can cause headaches, eye strain, and disruptions your natural sleep and patterns. Symptoms like eye fatigue, migraines and trouble falling asleep can indicate a lack of appropriate blue light protection when using cell phones, computers or other devices.
Eye Problems Caused by Blue Light
Blue light waves are highly energetic, which makes them flicker at a higher rate than longer, weaker wavelengths such as red or infrared light.
Harmful blue light is also known as HEV (High Energy Visible) blue light. When it meets the eye, flickering creates glare and reduces contrast, affecting the clarity of vision. In the long term, this can cause retinal damage and ‘age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), a very serious medical condition that can lead to loss of sight.
Your eyes don’t have enough natural protection against natural blue light, which means they are prone to damage from blue light emitted by monitors and phone screens, as well as fluorescent light sources.
Some of the eye problems commonly associated with excessive blue light exposure are:
- Digital eyestrain (sore or tired eyes, difficulty focusing)
- Dryness and redness in the eyes
- Retinal damage
Digital eyestrain is the number one medical condition associated with computer use. It’s not surprising that it decreases productivity and affects learning. Apart from the noticeable discomfort in the eyes, other symptoms can include neck and back pain, blurry vision, and headaches — which really makes the case for wearing glasses to protect your eyes from computer screens..
Blue Light Eye Damage
If you’ve ever experienced slightly blurry vision at the end of a workday, you’ve displayed a sign of digital eye strain. The light coming from the monitor can make your eyes feel dry or runny, and sometimes these symptoms are also accompanied by a headache.
Although digital eye strain is a temporary condition, the long-term effects of blue light are cumulative and can lead to eye diseases such as macular degeneration, a condition which causes blurred or no vision in the center of the visual field.
In order to understand what blue light does to your eyes, you need to know that it is the highest energy wavelength of visible light spectrum – it can be found right next to ultraviolet light on the light spectrum. This means that the energy can penetrate through the eyes’ natural filters, all the way to the back of the eye where the very sensitive retina lies.
Children are more susceptible to the harmful effects of blue light exposure than adults because their developing eyes lack some of the protective pigments that filter out some of this dangerous blue light. This makes it particularly important to know how to protect eyes from blue light as early as kindergarten when many children get their first cell phone or tablet.
What Effect Does Blue Light Have on Sleep?
There are many studies looking into how blue light affects your brain. In particular, scientists are analyzing the connection between blue light and melatonin production. As a sleep regulator, melatonin is an essential hormone and it plays a major role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Exposure to blue light has been shown to affect your sleep by decreasing melatonin production and disrupting your natural sleep cycle. Using blue light-emitting devices just before bedtime is associated with difficulty falling asleep and poor quality of sleep, which often result in fatigue and poor concentration the following day.
Lack of restorative sleep is linked with more serious conditions as well, such as diabetes and cardiovascular problems, and is linked to an increased risk for depression.
Sources of Blue Light
The sun is the biggest generator of blue light, but there are other, man-made sources that can be even more dangerous to the human eye.
Most of the devices that we use every day give off between 25-35 percent blue light. This includes phones, tablets, computer screens and flat screen LED televisions. Most energy-efficient light sources, such as fluorescent and compact fluorescent light bulbs also produce a high amount of blue light.
Even though screens produce lower amounts of blue light than the sun, doctors are concerned about the long-term effects of screen use, especially since many people look at them for many hours a day, and from a very close distance.
How Effective Are Blue Light Blocking Glasses?
Wearing a pair of readers or prescription eyeglasses with blue light filter is more effective than using blue light blocking apps that you can install on your phone, tablet or computer. Many people still wonder if blue light filter apps really work, as there is scant evidence to back up the efficiency of this method.
In contrast, coated optical glasses provide up to 100 percent UV protection, and 50-100 percent HEV blue light protection. Blue light filters will help you sleep better, provide better vision and improve your ability to concentrate. Those are just some of the blue light glasses benefits you need to know about.
DO BLUE LIGHT COMPUTER GLASSES WORK?
Computer eyewear is the same as reading glasses for computers and it has about 60 percent of the magnifying power of readers. Computer lenses are intended to correct nearsightedness and other ocular deficiencies, but they don’t necessarily offer blue light protection.
Every pair of pc protection eyeglasses should have a blue light filter to shield harmful light rays. There are several types of coatings that can be applied to computer glasses, so you should ask your optician or eye doctor about blue light screen protection that will meet your own needs.
Do Sunglasses Block Blue Light?
Not all sunglasses are made the same, which means that you have to verify the blue light protection for each pair. However, chances are that or mirror sunglasses do not provide adequate blue light protection, only UV protection.
Some types of sunglasses, such as those with yellow, orange and amber lenses can increase eye comfort and improve eyestrain symptoms. This is due to improved contrast and brightness that comes with filtering some of the blue light, although most colored lenses invariably create color distortion.
Unless they are specifically designed for computer use, most standard glasses — including mirror and polarized sunglasses — are not suitable for wearing in front of a screen. Vint&York sunglasses are not intended for blue light protection, so we recommend that you get a pair of computer Rx glasses with a blue light filter to care for your eye health.
Do Polarized Sunglasses Block Blue Light?
Yes, polarized sunglasses do offer optimal protection from blue light.
Just like tinted sunglasses, though, polarized sunglasses are not suitable for indoor wear, so you should consider getting a pair of clear (Plano) computer glasses to use indoors if you don’t need readers or prescription glasses.
How Does a Blue Light Filter Work?
Depending on the technology, blue light filters can remove between 50 and 100 percent of the harmful high energy visible (HEV) light. This filter only lets the light which is beneficial for proper vision pass through the lens.
Anti-reflective (A/R) coatings are designed to remove glare and allow the most visible light to pass through the lenses. They work by decreasing loss of light from around 20 percent on a non-coated lens to just 1 percent. Blue-block coatings provide a second filter that removes harmful rays from the total light that reaches the eyes.
Blue block anti-reflective coatings are effective for both absorbing and reflecting the light that is harmful for your eyes. There are several types of filters that you can choose from, depending on your needs.
Vint & York offers the best blue filter solution available, created through a mixture of special high index lens material and an AR coating. This technology reflects and filters 100 percent of HEV blue light, which makes about 50 percent of all blue light.
Why is Blue Light Filter Important?
A pair of computer Rx glasses with blue light filter counters the effects of harmful violet-blue light produced by digital screens, effectively acting as sunscreen for your eyes.
Blue light protection is important for your eye health, regardless of whether you need prescription glasses. High energy visible light affects almost everyone equally. It is only more dangerous for children, whose protective tissues are not yet developed enough, as well as the elderly, who don’t have enough melatonin for optimal protection.
How Does a Blue Light Filter Help You Sleep Better?
Getting an optimal amount of blue light during the day boosts alertness, elevates mood and helps with memory and cognitive functions. However, too much blue light during the night can make your brain excessively alert, leading to trouble falling asleep and daytime tiredness.
Filtering the blue light that reaches your eyes will remove these unwanted side effects and help maintain your natural sleep cycle. With appropriate protection, with blue light glasses, you can use luminous screens without having to worry about messing up your body’s internal clock and be sure to get a good night’s rest.
Do I Need a Blue Light Filter?
Everyone should take precautions against the harmful effects of blue light.
There’s growing evidence that blue light is the most dangerous light for the retina, which means that it’s necessary to take measures against these risks.
Depending on how much time you spend in front of a computer screen and your reading habits, your eye doctor can recommend the type of blue light protection that is most suitable for you. The safest way to keep your eyes protected is by using blue light filtering glasses with 100 percent protection – and remembering to wear them!
WHEN SHOULD I USE A BLUE LIGHT FILTER?
Some exposure to blue light is necessary in order to maintain alertness and mood. You can get the optimal amount of blue light simply by spending time outside on a sunny day or working in a well-lit room. Blue light computer Rx glasses will not prevent you from getting the appropriate amount of blue light — they will only shield the harmful (HEV) blue light.
You can wear your blue light filter glasses anytime, but you will only really need them when you are in front of a screen for any amount of time or around other blue light sources, for example when reading or working under a fluorescent light bulb.
Want a pair of designer Rx computer glasses to shield your eyes from bad light?
We have the best blue filter solution available, created through a mixture of special high index lens material and an AR coating. This technology reflects and filters 100 percent of HEV blue light, which makes about 50 percent of all blue light.