Ever gotten a headache after staring at a computer screen for eight hours straight? You might need blue light glasses.
Today, we’re more connected to our devices than ever, with more than 80 percent of adults reporting daily digital device usage that clocks in at over two hours a day. The pandemic may be partially to blame, as many workplaces went virtual in 2020—and stayed that way. Meetings that once took place in person are now held on Zoom. And with home and office boundaries blurred, people are spending more time on their computers and devices than ever before.
This increase in daily screen time, as it turns out, has a downside.
Overexposure to blue light can cause a long list of symptoms and is even closely related to eye light damage. In fact, these blue light-induced symptoms have an official diagnosis: computer vision syndrome (CVS), a specific type of eyestrain that’s defined by dry eyes, redness, headaches, and blurry vision.
It’s not all doom and gloom, however. Wearing blue light-blocking glasses could potentially help protect your sight, especially if limiting screen time isn’t always an option. Read on to learn more about the benefits of blue light glasses, how they work, and where you can find the perfect pair.
What are Blue Light Glasses?
Blue light glasses are exactly what they sound like: eyewear designed to help block blue light emitted from computer screens, phones, and tablets. The human eye can’t filter blue light, so the purpose of blue light glasses is to do just that.
What is blue light, you ask? Blue light, also known as high-energy visible (HEV) light, is a type of wavelength in the visible light spectrum that occurs in sunlight, as well as in many electronic devices. It has a shorter wavelength, which means it produces more energy. This energy, however, can cause damage to your eyes, along with commonly reported symptoms such as:
Benefits of Blue Light Glasses
This is where blue light glasses come into play. This type of eyewear works by absorbing the blue light wavelengths before they reach your eyes. Certain types of lenses can also reduce glare—another cause of eyestrain and CVS.
While there is some debate as to the effectiveness of blue light glasses for reducing eye strain, there is evidence that suggests blue light glasses are an effective way to regulate sleep. Exposure to blue light can impact your circadian rhythm as our bodies are naturally designed to wake up with the sun (which, if you recall, emits blue light!). However, if you’re spending too much time on your devices before bed, your body tends to get a little confused and you may have trouble drifting off. That’s because the blue light inhibits our natural production of melatonin, making it more difficult to fall asleep. Avoiding blue light from screens for the recommended four hours before bedtime might feel unrealistic to some—but wearing blue light glasses could help you scroll yourself to sleep.
If it’s eye strain you’re worried about, experts often recommend taking other precautions (in addition to wearing blue light glasses) to help reduce the negative impacts of screen time. One example is the 20-20-20 rule: Give your eyes a break every 20 minutes by focusing on something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
Another perceived benefit of blue light glasses? They aren’t just functional—they’re fashionable, too! Different color frames, shapes, and styles mean this eyewear can reflect your personal taste and even complement your outfit.
Trending Frames to Try
The eyewear industry saw an uptick in sales of blue light glasses during the pandemic—a trend that isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Eyewear has long been a means of expression, and blue light glasses make the accessory more accessible to everyone as they are often more affordable than prescription lenses. Even those with perfect vision or who prefer to wear contacts can get in on the blue light-blocking action.
Ready to give this eyewear a go and experience the benefits of blue light glasses? Here are some of our bestselling frames that keep blue light at bay.
These blue light glasses feature a timeless, slightly oversized frame crafted from recyclable, eco-friendly Italian acetate. Bellissima!
Y2K trends are having a moment, and these ‘90s-inspired frames are the flashback you’ve been waiting for. Scoop them up in a rad array of colors, including this sweet shade of orchid.
Who doesn’t love a classic cat eye? These frames flatter all faces with subtle-yet-striking angles.
Checks, please! Designed with a sleek, glamorous shape, this patterned pair of glasses is nothing short of eye-catching.
At the end of the day, avoiding (or even minimizing) blue light exposure is not always realistic—but protecting your eyes from it is. By wearing blue light glasses during the workday, you save your eyes some strain, get more shuteye—and look good doing it.