Blue-Light Blocking Glasses: Do They Actually Work?

employees using the computer

employees using the computerAccording to a recent study, an average office worker spends approximately 1,700 hours a year in front of their computer screen. All of this time spent staring at a screen, plus the extensive use of smartphones, results in digital eyestrain.

This condition, while not serious, can be extremely uncomfortable. From sore and itching eyes to temporarily blurred vision and headaches, digital eyestrain makes it difficult for sufferers to concentrate. As such, blue-light glasses have emerged as a remedy to this condition. But do these glasses actually work?

What Is Blue-Light?

Blue-light is everywhere as it mainly comes from sunlight. It becomes harmful as it is used for digital devices. Some experts have asserted that this high-energy visible light is one of the causes of macular degeneration, otherwise known as blurred vision.

Fortunately, the amount of blue-light in digital devices is not enough to permanently damage eyesight; rather, it just affects your ability to rest well. Blue-light delays the body’s release of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone, which controls the body’s natural sleep cycle. This disruption puts a strain on your eyes as it keeps you awake and causes you to blink less. All these result in extremely uncomfortable eyestrain.

What Are Blue-Light Glasses?

Unlike safety glasses that serve a purpose based on scientific data and research, experts are still debating the effectiveness of blue-light glasses. Designed to look like regular glasses save for its filtered lenses, blue-light glasses are marketed as a device that blocks out or absorbs blue-light rays.

Nay-sayers argue that these glasses do little in terms of preventing digital eyestrain because the condition is not caused by exposure to blue light. Digital eyestrain is caused by not blinking for long periods, after all.

More optimistic views, however, see the blocking properties of blue-light glasses as a way to help you sleep  better even with extensive use of digital devices at night.

What Are Effective Remedies for Digital Eyestrain?

Since the effectiveness of blue-light glasses in the prevention of digital eyestrain is still debatable, how can office workers prevent this uncomfortable condition?

  • Follow the “20-20-20” Rule.

Digital eyestrain is mainly caused by fatigue. To limit eyestrain during work, follow the 20-20-20 rule. This entails looking away from your computer screen and other digital devices for at least 20 minutes. Focus your vision on an object that is 20 feet away (600cm) for 20 seconds.

  • Adjust the Lighting.

google search on a laptop

Use ambient lighting when working in front of a computer. Additionally, adjust the display setting of your monitor to optimise it for your eyes. Make sure the brightness is equal with your surroundings and tweak the text size and contrast for your comfort.

  • Take Regular Breaks.

Take “mini” breaks in between working. For at least five minutes, stand up, stretch, and take a walk. If you don’t feel like moving away from your desk, consider turning off your monitor and closing your eyes. This will help reduce the strain put on them throughout the workday.

While some users might argue that blue-light glasses are effective at preventing digital eyestrain, these claims have yet to be backed by science. To lessen the amount of strain your eyes experience during work, consider adopting the abovementioned practices. They are supported by ophthalmologists around the world and they have been proven to be effective.