By Danielle Roshong
Blue light glasses are becoming more popular by the day. Stores are stocking up and people continue to buy. But why the run on the special lenses?
Since COVID-19 began, people have had more blue light exposure with increased screen time. This causes eye strain to be more likely, which can cause short- and long-term damage. Increased screen time can also affect how the mind works and how the body feels.
“Blue light can cause eye irritation, headaches, neck and body pain, and blurry vision,” Iris Tech, a leading company in the fight against blue light, said.
Blue light is not all bad; it has benefits as well, but too much exposure can lead to concern.
“[Blue light can induce] staying active within the day, boosting your memory and alertness, [aiding] your cognition and memory and [making] you feel happy,” Iris Tech said.
Blue light travels to the user’s eyes from screens, but not with blue light blocking glasses. However, many are wondering if the glasses are effective and worth the buy.
“The reality is, when we go outside in sunlight for an hour or so we are exposed to more blue light than we are for a week in front of our computer,” Erin Sendejaz, an optician at Vision Care Optique, said. “When we’re looking at something in the distance, our eyes are actually relaxed; when we are looking at something arm’s length or reading distance our eyes are actually flexing.
“If we are staring at an object from that distance for hours and hours at a time, just like any muscle in our body that becomes fatigued, we experience eye strain,” Sendejaz said. “The best way to treat that is with a proper prescription and rest.”
One way to aid the eyes from too much screen time is to follow the 20-20-20 rule.
“The American Optometric Association recommends computer users to follow the 20-20-20 rule,” Kensington News, a leader in modern workplace problem research, said. “Every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds to look at a specific object that’s at least 20 feet away. Not only does it give your eyes a break, but it also helps you reset your focus.”
With this information, it may seem like blue light glasses aren’t the solution.
Lexus Roshong, senior psychology major, learned about the effects of blue light in a psychology class. Blue light glasses are shown to help with falling asleep as they keep melatonin levels in sync.
“Because I’m on my computer all day, I’m exposed to lots of blue light,” Roshong said. “I also have my ceiling lights on and two lamps in my room. This matters because the exposure of this non-natural light is significantly decreasing the amount of melatonin in my body.”
However, there are ways to protect the eyes from blue light without purchasing glasses. There’s a feature on most smart devices that people may not realize.
“A lot of electronic devices have an amber setting that removes a large portion of blue light,” Sendejaz said. “I tell people about that all the time to avoid buying [lens] filters.”
Despite these options, there are upsides to buying blue light glasses too.
“[I see] no reason not to get blue light glasses as they’re affordable, comfortable, and stylish,” Alexa Remo, junior psychology major, said. “I wear my blue light glasses daily and I don’t even notice they’re on!”
Blue light glasses can be found on the internet for less than $20. If the feature is sold in combination with a prescription lens, the price will vary.
“I have noticed a huge difference, as now I feel fine while using technology for hours,” Remo said.
Seeking out solutions to blue light exposure can be beneficial for anyone experiencing sleep problems, those who use screens often, and those noticing chronic headaches accompanying screen usage. With the increased demand, the product can be found virtually anywhere and in more frame styles available for blue light glasses than ever before! Trying a pair on for size has never been more necessary – or risk-free!