When it comes to eye care and glasses, the most common topic in recent years has been blue light glasses. While the jury is still out in terms of research, blue light has been linked with eye strain, fatigue, headache, tiredness etc. That is why a lot of apps, websites and browsers offer the ‘night mode’ and ‘dark mode’ feature. Even devices like phones and laptops now come with this in-built feature. But what exactly is blue light, and does it really harm your eyes?
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What is Blue Light?
To explain it in easy terms, blue light is a part of the visible light spectrum along with others like Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Indigo and Violet. All these have different energy levels and wavelengths. Blue light has a particularly short wavelength and high energy nature. Apart from the sun, digital screen devices also emit blue light. Although miniscule in comparison, our close proximity to these devices and increasing screen times can make things tricky. According to a few experts, these characteristics of blue light make it harder for eyes to focus. It may lead to Computer Vision Syndrome, which may cause –
- Eye strain
- Blurry eyes
- Neck and Shoulder pain
- Trouble sleeping
If you too have been facing these symptoms, make sure to consult your optician. If you live near Manchester, you can get a free eye test in Walkden or Bury.
Blue light isn’t all bad. It is important for our circadian rhythm – an internal process which regulates our sleep wake cycle. That is exactly why it may be a bad idea to use phones and laptops at night – it may tell our body that it is daytime, throwing off our sleep cycle.
How to Block Blue Light
Whether blue light is actually harmful or not is still up for debate. But a lot of people have complained of eye strain after long hours of screen usage. According to Bloomberg, it may even cause poor eyesight. After the pandemic, a lot of people are used to spending most of the day in front of a screen – Working From Home, scrolling social media, binge-watching Netflix, playing games, etc. So the best measure to safeguard your eyes is to cut down on screen time.
The 20-20-20 Rule – If your work forces you to spend hours in front of a screen, make sure to follow the 20-20-20 rule. After every 20 minutes of working on a screen,look at an object 20 metres away for 20 seconds. It allows our eyes to refocus and relax a bit. If possible, go out for a while and take in fresh air. Blinking frequently also helps to keep eyes moist.
Blue light glasses – In this digital age it is tough to stay away from the screen for long. That is why blue light blocking glasses have gotten popular. They are engineered in such a manner that they block or filter most of this high energy blue light.
Can you Wear Blue Light Glasses All Day?
Yes, you can wear them all day! In fact a lot of people get prescription blue light glasses if they also need vision correction. They offer the best of both worlds – eye protection and better eyesight. Wearing them whenever you face a screen is a good idea. Especially if you use your phone before sleeping, do so while wearing blue light glasses. You can also wear these glasses while driving.
To test these lenses, a lot of companies provide a torch or a laser which emits blue light. This light will pass through normal, clear lenses while being blocked or filtered by anti-blue light ones.
Do Anti Reflective Glasses Protect From Blue Light?
No anti glare or anti reflective glasses do not protect from blue light rays, although they do provide comfort to your eyes while looking at screens. If you wear glasses, anti reflective lenses let most of the light pass through without getting reflected off the surface of the lenses. This provides
Do Anti UV Glasses Protect From Blue Light?
Anti UV glasses don’t do that either! As mentioned above, Violet rays are another part of the spectrum of light. Overexposure to these can be harmful for the eyes, that is why a lot of frames come with an anti-UV coating. Some spectacles online also come with free anti-UV and anti-glare coatings. There is more research and awareness about its harmful effects.