What are Blue Light Glasses and Do I Need Them?

What Are Blue Light Glasses And Do I Need Them?

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Does this routine sound familiar?

6:30 a.m. You wake up to an alarm and immediately search for your phone.
6:31 a.m. Time to rid your phone of all those red notifications on your apps and see what you missed while you slept.
6:35 a.m. Scroll through your Instagram feed. Check out what’s trending on Twitter.
9 a.m. Get to work and turn on the computer you stare at until lunch.
12 p.m. At lunch you take a break to text some friends and read the news.
1 p.m. Between work tasks, you never miss an opportunity to hop back on social media.
5 p.m. Head home and relax by watching a show or a movie.
9 p.m. At last, when it’s time for bed, you wind down by scrolling through your feed. Maybe play one last game game or watch a few sports highlights before you finally go to sleep.

Maybe you don’t look at screens all day, but part of that description probably rings a bell. If this is the case, you’d be right in considering getting a pair of blue light computer glasses. This protective wear claims to offer relief from symptoms that go along with extended screen time.

“We are actually putting ourselves at increased risk by being outdoors in modern society and not protecting our eyes appropriately,” Dr. Shelby Temple, director of Azul Optics, said in an interview with Optometry Today.

Before getting a pair of blue light computer glasses, you probably have questions. Probably something along the lines of “What do blue light blocking glasses do?” To answer that question, you must know a little about blue light.

What is Blue Light and How Does It Affect Your Eyes?

The color in the visible light spectrum ranges from blue to red. Blue light sits on the very edge of the spectrum, close to invisible UV light. Blue light is considered “high-energy visible light” (HEV). Its wavelength, much shorter when compared to colors closer to the red side of the spectrum, hits our eyes at a higher frequency.

what is blue light (hev)

The blue light that falls on the beneficial side of the line in this graphic comes from the sun. The sun’s blue light controls our sleep and wake cycles (circadian rhythm), and memory. When we expose ourselves to excessive amounts of blue light produced by digital screens, we expose our eyes to something unnatural and harmful. Current research is looking into if extended blue light exposure from our devices can cause similar changes to the retina in Age-Related Macular Degeneration that is caused by blue light from the sun. Blue light is known to cause eye strain, headaches, and disruptions in your body’s sleep cycle.

Blue light computer glasses protect your eyes from blue light, and all the symptoms that go along with it.

When to Wear Blue Light Blocking Glasses

The truth is, the amount of screen time we have every day is a problem with no easy solution. According to The Vision Council, “C​lose to 80 percent report using digital devices, including TV, in the hour before going to sleep, with almost 55 percent in the first hour they are awake.” Your sleep cycle will surely suffer from such usage (more on that later); however, the other thing these statistics show is this:

Although minimizing your screen time would help, for many doing so has become nearly impossible. Screens are a part of our lives like never before. Screens have become your source of news, entertainment, communication, and social interaction- not to mention a tool for work. More than ever, people are working from home which can be very taxing on your eyes.

We cannot simply avoid digital screens. Instead, we must learn to find ways to protect ourselves from the potential negative effects screen use can have.

If you want the expert advice on the subject, the American Academy of Ophthalmology put out a list of tips to minimize the effects of digital screens in your life. Number four on their list recommends that you use computer glasses.

Opting to wear protective eyewear such as Blue Light Blocking Computer glasses can make a huge difference in maintaining the health of your eyes.

Measuring Lens Protection

When it comes to protecting your eyes, it is important to understand the level of protection your eyes need. GUNNAR offers a wide array of lens options ranging in Blue Light Protection Factor- BLPF, like SPF for sunscreen. These lenses range from a BLPF of 35-98, offering extreme or moderate protection.

blue light protection factor scale

GUNNAR’s patented lens technology is recommended by doctors to protect your eyes and enhance your vision. In the most recent episode of our podcast Vision is More Than 2020, I go into further detail to help explain the difference GUNNAR’s unique lens tech makes in helping to reduce glare, ease focus and dryness. My co-host, Dr. Licausi actually gave her own account of how protective lenses benefitted her. Although she was skeptical at first, after testing a pair of GUNNAR Computer Glasses she experienced less fatigue, resulting in a more comfortable experience overall.

Do I Need Blue Light Blocking Glasses?

If your eyes are experiencing signs of exhaustion after prolonged use of digital screens, you may benefit from blue light blocking glasses. It is possible you may not even notice the beginning signs of eye strain and other effects of blue light.

Pay close attention to what your body is trying to tell you. There are some warning signs to look out for that tell you if you are in need of Blue Light Blocking Computer Glasses.

If you suffer from any of the following symptoms, you’d benefit from the relief blue light blocking glasses offer:

1. Eye Strain
2. Headaches
3. Trouble Sleeping
4. Dry Eyes
5. Blurred Vision

1. Eye Strain

experience eye strain without realizing it

If after prolonged use of your device, your eyes feel tired/strained and dry, you may be suffering from computer vision syndrome or digital eye strain. This issue arises from a combination of the blue light exposure, the constant flickering and glare of your LED screens, reduced blink rate and having to maintain your eye’s focus for an extended period of time.

Many technology users experience symptoms of digital eye strain without even realizing it. You simply begin to believe that what you feel after spending time on digital screens is normal. It is common for these symptoms to go on ignored, but the effects will remain without proper care. GUNNAR has a proven track record, confirmed by customers, of alleviating eye strain.


2. Headaches

blue light induced headache

Headaches are one of the most uncomfortable symptoms associated with harmful blue light. Once again, if you’ve ever spent a long time on screens, you might not even realize the headache is a symptom. You just adjust and move on. Long hours using your eyes in any context can cause headaches; blue light aggravates the problem greatly. Reading a book can cause eye strain, but reading a lighted e-reader will cause it far quicker.

Those with sensitive eyes risk migraines. Blue and red light send the largest signal to the retina and the cortex. You can easily guess blue light’s adverse effects. Also, when your eyes hurt, your head hurts more. The longer you use screens unprotected, the more intense the headache. The vicious cycle feeds back, and you’re left in pain and frustration.

3. Trouble Sleeping

blue light stops brain producing melatonin causing sleep loss

As I mentioned before, blue light can also greatly affect your ability to have a good night’s sleep. How does blue light control your sleep cycle? The natural blue light emitted from the sun signals your body when to sleep and when to wake up. Specifically, blue light tells your brain to stop producing melatonin, the chemical associated with sleepiness. If you use screens near bedtime, you cause your brain confusion. Melatonin should be switched on since nighttime has come, but the screens signal your brain to stop that production.

Sleep studies show that use of digital devices before bed makes it more difficult to fall asleep, the quality of how you sleep is negatively affected and when you wake up you are not as well rested. The best solution would be to remove screens at night, about 1-2 hours before bed, but this is a difficult task for most of us. However, you can still take advantage of your screens without sacrificing sleep! GUNNAR users can use their devices with reduced blue-light exposure before bed and are able to preserve their precious sleep.

4. Dry Eyes

dry eyes occur from lack of blinking

When you use digital screens you tend to stare more intently. Whether you use them for work, or play, the nature of the work holds your attention. Gamers in particular know this struggle. You don’t want to miss a minute, so you tend to blink less. Less blinking means dryer eyes. The flickering blue light intensifies the experience.

via Gfycat

Nowadays, keeping your eyes properly moistened takes more than a few drops to fix the problem. Regularly wearing computer glasses is proven to help reduce dry, red eyes. GUNNAR lenses include anti-glare coating to combat the glare that can contribute to dry eye symptoms.

5. Blurred Vision

blurred vision caused by eye strain

Dry eyes, eye strain, and—why not complete the trifecta?—blurred vision. When we look at our devices for an extended period of time, our visual system is held in a ‘locked’ position to maintain clarity. The eye-muscles can fatigue, resulting in intermittent blurred vision at near, in the distance or both. If you have any underlying visual issues, this blurriness can get worse from device use. Wearing protective eyewear helps promote longevity and health in your eyes.

Do Blue Light Filtering Glasses Work?

As I’ve noted throughout this article, today’s world makes it tough to avoid screen time. This begs the question: Do blue light glasses help to combat the effects of prolonged exposure? In fact, in a market test for GUNNAR Optiks Digital Performance Eyewear, patients proved wearing blue blocking glasses is equivalent to overall decreased screen time. These results were analyzed using standard market research techniques, using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) software.

Blue light glasses make it possible to remain fully engaged in our technologically advanced world, without taking on the negative effects of blue light. The symptoms listed above can decrease productivity, and disrupt an otherwise pleasant day. You can stay focused on the task (or game) at hand without negative effects with Computer Glasses. In the words of YouTuber Carson Suite, “Eye strain was affecting my sleep and my focus…GUNNAR glasses changed my life!”

focusing power of GUNNAR's patented lens technology

GUNNAR, in addition to protecting you from blue light and glare, offers various magnified lens options. From a subtle .2 magnification to sharpen images, all the way up to your personal prescription. You can get the protection you need while still maintaining the visual clarity you need.

Find the Right Pair of Blocking Blue Light Computer Glasses

After hours of screen time, eye strain is inevitable. Even if you can bear the symptoms in the short term, you can cause more damage to your eyes by ignoring the warnings. Changing your relationship with digital screens is absolutely essential to protect the strength and health of your eyes. You needn’t give up your devices completely to protect your eye’s health.

By choosing to wear protective eyewear like Blue Light Computer Glasses, you can remain engaged and productive without worry. With many options available, ranging in style and level of protection, it’s easier than ever to find the specs best suited for you. Depending on your needs we offer both prescription glasses and non-prescription options.

See for yourself! Browse through our available Computer Glasses by lens, style or shape. Using our Virtual Try-On option, you can accurately visualize how each pair will look like on you.

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