In today’s world, technology is an entity that we encounter daily. Between online meetings, sitting for hours behind a screen, or staring at a cellphone, our eyes are exposed to different rays of light. Light rays can be measured on a scale from high energy to low energy with different wavelengths. A particular example, of high energy light that the eyes can be exposed to, is blue light. The main source of blue light is the sun, however, this light can be found in tablets, laptops, televisions and just about any piece of technology with a screen. Not all blue light is detrimental, however, it can lead to eye strain with prolonged screen time.
A recent randomized study that consisted of 36 students from the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry, proposed that wearing wavelength-blocking glasses while performing a task on the computer minimized eye fatigue and discomfort compared to those who were wearing clear lens glasses with no wavelength-blocking protection 1. Results did support the hypothesis and researchers reported that specifically, the shortwave lengths in blue light spectrum damaged cells and created eye strain 1. In a similar study that consisted of 12 adults with insomnia, utilizing blue light glasses 2 hours prior to going to sleep, there was a marked elevation of melatonin in comparison to those who were not wearing blue light glasses 2. Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally released from the pineal gland in the brain. It is released in response to darkness and its function is to regulate sleep and circadian rhythm.
With the data from these studies, blue light glasses is shown to prevent eye strain and promote better sleep cycles. The eye can not naturally block out blue light, but with the usage of eyewear we can be more proactive about the health of our eyes. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of wearing blue light a glasses or where to find an affordable pair, visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
1- Jonathan B. Lin, Blair W. Gerratt, Carl J. Bassi, Rajendra S. Apte; Short-Wavelength Light-Blocking Eyeglasses Attenuate Symptoms of Eye Fatigue. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(1):442-447. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.16-20663.
2-Karolina Janků, Michal Šmotek, Eva Fárková, Jana Kopřivová. (2020) Block the light and sleep well: Evening blue light filtration as a part of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. Chronobiology International 37:2, pages 248-259.