Welcome to the digital age; where sunglasses post to Snapchat for you, bracelets charge your iPhone on-the-go, and watches track your every step. With the constant advancement in technology, the options for cool accessories are literally endless.
However, sometimes the most helpful inventions are actually the simplest. While blue-light-blocking glasses have taken over the fashion industry, there is actually more to them than just being the “next big thing.”
While they may look like your typical, trendy eyeglasses, there’s more than what meets the eye.
These non-prescription eyeglasses are made specifically for people who are interested in blocking the blue-light that emanates from their computers, phones and tv screens.
Some people claim that blue-light glasses have cured their chronic headaches, while others say that using their blue-light glasses have helped them fall asleep more easily at night. And not only are blue light glasses reasonably inexpensive and easy to find, they can also be made in virtually any shape and color to suit your personal style.
Keep scrolling to learn more about the benefits of blue-light-blocking glasses, and the harmful side-effects of exposure to blue light.
Full disclosure: you may become a protective-eye-wear junkie after reading…
“70% of U.S. adults experience digital eye strain as a result of increasing use of digital devices.”— The Vision Council of America
Believe it or not, blue-light is not a new phenomenon.
While blue-light is most commonly associated with phone screens, computers and tablets, it can also come from fluorescent lights, LED lights, and even sunlight, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Blue light is one of the many colors on the “visible light spectrum” that humans can see with the naked eye. Blue-light is beneficial during the day because it helps boost our attention and regulate our sleep/wake cycles. However, it is because of this exact reaction that exposure to blue-light seems to be the most problematic at night.
Here’s where some medical professionals seem to disagree; according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, there’s not a lot of scientific evidence to tell us what exactly blue light does to our eyes.
Having said that, the American Macular Degeneration Foundation has suggested that blue light may be responsible for retinal damage, and may also increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration, which causes vision loss as you age.
In addition, there have been several studies performed on flies to determine what happens when they’re exposed to blue light. They found that the flies exposed to blue light showed significant damage to their retinal cells, and were observed to have shorter lives compared to the flies who were kept in the dark.
While the exact effects of what blue light does to your eyes is a bit fuzzy, we DO know that too much exposure to blue light at times of day when you should be “winding down” (*ahem* at night) isn’t good for your eye.
Another reason blue light is bad for your health is that it can wildly alter your sleep cycle, or circadian rhythm. When the sun goes down, the dimming light signals to your body that it’s time to start producing melatonin, which is the hormone responsible for helping us fall, and stay, asleep.
Before the invention of artificial light, the sun was responsible for regulating our sleep schedules. In today’s society, however, we’re exposed to light all day, and sometimes all night.
It’s because of this phenomenon that many people find it harder to fall asleep after being on their phones or computers late at night- they’ve been exposed to too much blue light, which is tricking their bodies into thinking that it’s still daytime.
Turns out that those late-night Netflix binges could be the reason you’re tossing and turning until early AM.
Blue-light-blocking glasses have recently started getting lots of attention because, unlike braces for crooked teeth or any of the other unattractive ways that we take care of our bodies, blue light glasses are trendy and fun.
Blue light glasses usually look just like regular prescription glasses, but with one major difference: the lenses are specifically made to filter out the blue light – and in some cases UV light- from getting through to your eye. If you use these glasses when you’re looking at a screen, especially after dark, it can help reduce exposure to blue light waves.
Many of our grandparents would have never left the house without their pair of BluBlockers, long before eyewear companies joined the bandwagon. These retro glasses had quite the “cult following” because- aside from the fact that they looked rad- they also seemed to make people see more clearly.
Fast-forward to today, and these cool glasses are hot again- but for an entirely different reason; we’re constantly surrounded by devices that emit blue light, and it’s causing problems.
An article in the New York Post claims that, in general, Americans today spend at least half of their lives in front of screens. This much screen-time can sabotage sleep, contribute to headaches, strain your eyes, promote fatigue and potentially cause cataracts.
Can you say yikes??
Truth is, kids today are using phones, tablets and computers more than ever before, and at increasingly younger ages, too.
While there are undoubtedly many benefits of introducing your kids to tech, there’s is one serious downside- their little, still-developing eyes are getting too much exposure to blue-light. During the early years of your child’s eye development, their pupils are larger and the lenses are clearer. This allows for greater amounts of blue light to enter their eyes.
A growing body of research shows that, at the very least, overexposure to blue light can cause digital eye strain, headaches, and a lack of deep sleep in children. At the worst, exposure to blue light over time can lead to damaged retinal cells and the early onset of macular degeneration, which can lead to vision loss.
There are many ways to help reduce the symptoms of digital eye strain in your children; in addition to setting clear limits for screen time, you can also protect their little eyes by buying a pair of kid’s blue light blocking glasses. Most companies that sell these glasses for adults also carry children’s sizes, so they shouldn’t be hard to find.
When you’re looking for blue light glasses for kids or young adults, make sure that the pair you choose comes with a carrying case, so they don’t get crushed or damaged when they’re not being worn. Also, be sure that your kid’s blue light glasses are lightweight and comfortable.
Make sure that when your kids reach for their iPhone or tablet, that they also grab their blue light glasses. Help your kids create healthy habits while they’re young, so they can benefit from great vision well into adulthood.
According to the Entertainment Software Association, 60% of Americans play video games, daily- that’s roughly 200 million people active in the world of gaming.
Whether you’re an expert or a casual gamer, video games have become a favorite pastime for people all over the world. And there’s good news for gamers; there are many studies linking gaming to increased perceptual and cognitive performance.
Nevertheless, some research shows that playing video games for an extended period of time can also have repercussions, specifically for your vision. For anyone who has ever played a game for longer than 20 minutes, you’re probably well aware of the strain that this can put on your eyes.
Luckily, there is an easy, inexpensive solution: blue-light blocking glasses made specifically for gamers.
Blue light blocking glasses will help alleviate the annoying symptoms that accompany staring at your computer screen, so you can spend more time beating your matches instead of rubbing your eyes.
Next time you throw on your headset don’t forget to grab your pair of blue light blocking glasses- and prepare to level-up your gaming experience.
Maybe you’ve gotten LASIK, and you no longer need to wear your prescription glasses. First of all, congratulations! How does it feel being able to see clearly without needing glasses? Pretty good, huh?
But, maybe you also miss accessorizing with your favorite pair of frames. If you haven’t noticed, statement frames are IN- and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
If you still like the idea of wearing a cute pair of glasses to the office, blue-light blocking glasses may be just what you’re looking for (and you’re not ~really~ just wearing them for fashion either).
By protecting your eyes from hours of exposure to blue light while you’re working, you’ll both preserve your 20/20 vision AND keep up with the all-the-cool-kids-are-wearing-glasses trend.
So, what makes one pair of blue light blocking glasses better than another? There are over 7000 pairs of blue blocking glasses available on Amazon alone, and the pricing ranges from $7 to $700.
While aesthetics will play into which pair (or two?) you end up with, the key is to find out how much light they block out. The best glasses for reducing blue-light exposure will have high-powered lenses that block up to 90% of blue light.
When you’re looking for the best blue-light blocking glasses, you’ll find that they are typically made with either clear or colored lenses. Clear lenses block around 5% – 40% of the blue spectrum, while yellow lense block between 40%-75% of the blue spectrum, making tinted lenses the more effective method of blocking blue light.
However (while there’s nothing wrong with rocking a pair of Fear-and-Loathing style glasses) most people opt for the clear lenses because of their less obvious lenses.
Orange lenses block 100% of the blue spectrum- which should never be done during the day. Blocking all blue light during the day will completely mess up your circadian rhythm and could, if worn consistently over time, start to alter how your brain functions.
So, which blue-light blocking glasses are the best?
Here’s the bottom line: Whether you’re an avid gamer, or an office worker, you’ll want a pair of glasses that are comfortable and functional- not just trendy.
If you’re buying blue light glasses online, make sure to do your homework:
Today’s society is powered by digital devices- and while it’s not a bad thing, it’s definitely something to be aware. Here are a few easy and applicable ways to help decrease digital eye strain from blue light exposure:
Hopefully, this article has provided some answers to the common questions people have when looking to buy a pair of blue light glasses.
Lots of people who wear prescription glasses assume that they’re getting adequate protection from blue light rays. Wrong. If you wear prescription glasses, your eyes are just as exposed as if you weren’t wearing glasses at all! This is especially harmful for people who work on their computers all day.
Wear your glasses because you want to protect your eyes from blue light, not because you can’t see without them. Our advice; get LASIK at LasikPlus, so that you can finally have 20/20 vision and ditch your old prescription once and for all.
LASIK is painless, quick and cost-effective; what are you waiting for?
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