We’re all exposed to significant amounts of blue light every day. For most, the biggest culprits are television, computer, and device screens. However, they’re not the only sources that affect us.
Our energy-efficient bulbs in offices, homes, and public spaces add to our levels of exposure. So do street lamps, modem lights, airplane cabins, and even movie theaters. There doesn’t seem to be any escape from the glare, which is why most people are looking for ways to control it instead.
One of these methods is blue light blocking glasses, an item that’s seen increasing amounts of hype over the last few years. Do they work? Are they worth the price tag or even necessary to prevent exposure?
If you’re asking one, or all, of these questions, keep reading. We’re going to cover six things you need to know before deciding to buy a shiny pair of blue light blocking glasses.
Blue Light May Be Disrupting Your Sleep Cycle and Circadian Rhythms
Everyone has a sleep cycle that’s governed by our circadian rhythm and melatonin production. However, these processes and chemicals can be disrupted by certain light wavelengths, and blue is one.
It’s the shortest on the visible spectrum. While many sources, including the sun, produce some measure, most of our daily dose comes from artificial means: screens, mobile devices, and energy-saving lamps. As a result, we receive a much higher amount than we should.
Unfortunately, it can disrupt your sleep cycle and melatonin production. Do you struggle to fall asleep or wake up throughout the night? Do you rest poorly or feel tired in the mornings and during the day?
Blue light exposure may be your problem.
They’re Not Sunglasses
These glasses are not sunglasses. They’re designed to block out blue light without darkening your vision. It may tint what you see slightly, but that should be the extent of their altering effect.
Keep in mind that there are some variations that can act almost like sunglasses. Very dark red lenses block out significant amounts of color and can darken your vision. If that’s not what you’re looking for, consider using lighter or clear lenses instead.
Almost Everyone Can Benefit from Wearing Them
We all have habits that put us in contact with too much blue light. Some of us spend hours in front of a screen at work, others while gaming. Maybe you prefer binging Netflix or browsing social media before bed.
Some exposure, such as sunlight, is good for us, but too much of a good thing can negatively impact us. Blue light blocking glasses can help minimize the disruptive effect on our sleep and health.
Light Blocking Apps Aren’t Effective
Why do you need glasses when most modern phones include a light blocking app? Because these applications aren’t effective. According to one study done by the University of Manchester, the red-tinted light on your device might disrupt your sleep cycle even more.
Blue light glasses can help. However, if you’re determined to improve your sleep, the best option is to avoid using devices before bed entirely.
Choose the Lens Color Carefully
There’s a lot of debate concerning the perfect lens color for these glasses. Many brands offer clear lenses, while others advocate a heavily tinted red or orange shade. One company recommends choosing your glasses depending on when and for what you use them.
For example, clear lenses can block up to 40% of blue light. That’s sufficient for many people. Similarly, yellow ones can prevent up to 75% from reaching your eyes.
Before choosing a set, consider what level of tint would work best for your needs. You may also want to get a darker one for daytime use while using clearer or lighter lenses at night.
A Few Important Considerations
Blue light glasses have built up a lot of hype over the last year, and many brands, celebrities, and health professionals have begun to push products into the market. However, there are a few key factors you might want to consider before buying a pair:
- Did the brand consult with sleep experts before production?
- Do they block UV-A and UV-B light?
- Are the lenses anti-glare and anti-reflective?
- Will they fit comfortably?
- Is there a warranty included?
Ask yourself these questions whenever you consider buying your blue light glasses. If you’re not satisfied with the answer, move on to the next brand.
Should You Get Blue Light Glasses?
The fact is that the FDA doesn’t regulate eyewear, which means that glasses aren’t subject to the same kind of rigorous testing as, say, a new type of medication. Being relatively new also means that there haven’t been many studies to prove or disprove how effective these lenses can be.
That said, many wearers, from doctors to photographers, claim that blue light glasses have worked miracles for them. They’ve experienced improved sleep, less eye fatigue, and fewer migraines. Even so, it doesn’t mean that all lenses are effective.
Choose your options carefully and consider which types of lenses may be best for you. Will your new pair of glasses work? The only way to find out is to try them on.