In recent times, companies selling blue light glasses have mushroomed from all corners and the demand for these products is at an all time high. This is mainly contributed by the increased awareness and emerging research about the dangers of blue light from digital devices.
On average, people who work in offices spend about 6.5 hours a day or 1700 hours a year in front of a computer. The combined use of computers and other devices like smartphones has people spending a staggering 12 hours a day on screens! Considering that most people cannot live without their digital devices, it’s imperative that they find a way to protect themselves.
What is Blue Light?
We’ve not always been exposed to blue light from digital devices; the original and main source of blue light is the sun. Blue light makes up part of the white visible light that the sun produces. All the coloured rays of the sun that combine to make white light are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, in that order on the electromagnetic spectrum. They each have different wavelengths and energy levels which determine the effect that they have on people. Light at the red end of the electromagnetic spectrum has long wavelengths and low energy while light on the blue end has short wavelengths and high energy.
The blue light from the sun is actually good for you. It helps your body know when it’s time to wake up and when it’s time to sleep. It also boosts your brain’s functions like memory and moods. However, your body is only supposed to be exposed to blue light during the day. When it’s exposed to additional blue light from digital devices, it upsets your biological functions like sleep and damages your eyes. The devices that emit blue light are televisions, monitors, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and LED lights.
How Does Blue Light Harm Your Eyes?
Overexposure to blue light all day and most of the night is too much for your eyes. This is because of the high-energy nature of blue light that interferes with the cells in your eyes. Blue light raises your risk of developing the following eye conditions:
Digital Eye Strain
This is a condition that affects almost everyone who uses digital devices for prolonged periods. It’s also known as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) and its symptoms include blurry vision, red, dry, and sore eyes, headaches, shoulder, and neck pains. These are probably symptoms you’ve experienced after a long day of using your computer. The concentration of high-energy and intense blue light on your eyes for a long time without a break causes you eye fatigue.
CVS reduces your level of productivity at work because you’ll be forced to often take breaks and for the pains to subside or to regain focus so you can see your computer clearly.
Chronic exposure to blue light for years can lead to macular degeneration. This is a condition commonly associated with old age that occurs when the cells of the retina break down and cause blurry vision. Excess exposure to blue light could make you develop this disease earlier than you ever anticipated.
Cataracts that cause the clouding of vision are often linked to the exposure to too much sunlight over many years. Blue light from the sun is believed to be the cause of cataracts. Blue light activates the production of reactive oxygen species in the mitochondria of your eye lens which leads to the development of cataracts. Since you’re not only exposed to blue light from the sun but also digital devices as well, you have a higher chance of developing cataracts.
How Do Blue Light Glasses Protect Your Eyes?
Blue light glass or computer glasses are specialized eyewear designed to block or absorb blue light before it reaches your eyes. They have special coatings that don’t allow light within a certain range to pass through. Blue light is found between the 380nm and 470nm wavelength range on the electromagnetic spectrum. Computer glasses may either filter out all or part of blue light from reaching your eyes depending on your needs.
Blue light blocking glasses that filter out all blue light are best used at night to prevent your eyes from receiving any blue light which will disrupt sleep. However, for computer glasses that you want to use during the day, get those that block partial blue light so that you can see clearly as you go about your activities.
What to Look for in Blue Light Glasses
Amber Versus Clear Glasses
If you’re concerned about losing your sleep because of using devices at night, amber-coloured glasses are for you. They block out all blue light and only let in red, orange, and yellow light which don’t interfere with sleep.
If you want glasses to use as you work on your computer during the day and even drive with, clear glasses are most suitable. They don’t distort image quality, unlike amber-coloured glasses.
Anybody can make glasses and claim that they block blue light and unfortunately, such products do exist in the market. How do you know you’re buying genuine blue light glasses? Ask your retailer to give you a blue light filter test. This is a colour spectrum with two bars, one bar showing how colours should look with blue light while the other bar shows how they should look without blue light. Wear the glasses you intend to purchase and see if the colours on your device match the latter bar. If they do, you have genuine glasses and if they match the former, they’re fake.
The glare that appears when light falls on your screen and makes it difficult for you to see clearly is also a cause of digital eye strain. Buying glasses with an anti-glare coating will be an added advantage.
Your anti-blue light glasses may break, get scratched, or simply wear out due to age. A good pair of blue light glasses is costly and accidents may set you back financially. If they come with a warranty then you won’t have to worry about spending too much to replace them.
Ocushield is your home for first-class blue light glass and other blue light filtering products like screen protectors. Ocushield products are medically rated so you can be sure that they will protect your eyes from the harms of blue light. Visit them and start your journey towards healthier eyes today!