Blue Light: Fact And Fiction

Blue Light Glasses

Blue light glasses are glasses with lenses that are fitted with a filter that can block or absorb some of the light which is everywhere. Some designs additionally block UV light, similar to sunglasses. Once you have your prescription, you can add a blue light blocking coating to your prescription lenses to make glasses that block blue light. We always recommend Crizal Prevencia, which blocks blue light, has an anti-reflective coating, a super hard coating, and a two year anti-scratch warrantee. There is no finer way to treat your eyes than Crizal Prevencia.

Varilux Progressive Blue Block Lenses

Do Blue Light Blocking Glasses Really Work?

Wearing blue light glasses with these lenses can reduce – by a small amount – the total amount of blue light that enters your eyes while you are looking at digital screens – good and bad blue light. But, blue light is natural and a necessary part of the light spectrum, and blue light blocking glasses block only filter a small amount of the blue light that is entering your eyes. Doctors are not convinced, check out this article on blue light glasses to learn more about them from a medical perspective.

What is blue light?

“Blue light” is everywhere, and it is a general term and refers to all the light that falls in the range of 400-495nm. The “bad” blue light is only in the 400-430nm range. The “good” blue light is in the 430-490nm range and we need that to stay healthy and to survive. Companies that sell blue light blocking glasses claim that we may get more blue light that we need from television screens, laptops, mobile devices, and other electronics on the market. The average American will spend up to half of their waking lives (42 percent) in front of screens. 

Studies show that too much screen time can have a negative effect on the mind but also impact your eye health. For example, adults who spend hours in front of a computer screen to perform work-related tasks increase the risk of headaches and migraines. However, recent claims by companies that sell blue light blocking glasses imply that this light is the leading cause of this and other hazards to people’s eyes.

Crizal No Glare Coating

On a clear, sunny summer day, there’s no avoiding the bright blue sky. While humans have evolved under light from the sun, it was common practice to avoid looking directly into it to preserve eyesight. Nowadays there are new technologies emitting various wavelengths of light and people are staring directly into them for prolonged periods of time.  The concern of excess blue light comes from the long-term effects of screen exposure, the close proximity of viewing, and the length of time in front of these screens. 

What Is The Purpose Of Blue Light?

Imagine light escaping through a prism that reaches rainbow colors. Almost all color is part of a spectrum characterized by wavelength As the number decreases the shorter wavelength becomes harmful; therefore, many people prefer blocking blue or purple light. Nevertheless, it is not necessary to eliminate blue light altogether. It is available from all light sources and is thought to improve your focus, mood, and energy levels. Long-term effects on retinal health have not yet been determined but studies show retinal cells die from blue light exposure in rats.

What to look for in blue light blocking glasses

It is amazing that millions of blue light blocking glasses are being promoted and sold, when there is absolutely no medical evidence that blocking blue light will be beneficial, and there is plenty of evidence to show that we need a certain amount of blue light exposure to stay healthy. Thus, blue light filtering glasses are a marketing strategy, not a health aid. The good news is that blue light blocking glasses do not block blue light in enough quantity to be detrimental to our health.

Blue light prescription glasses

You can easily create you own blue light blocking glasses in your own prescription glasses, by adding blue light protection to the lenses. This is simply a coating that can be applied to just about any pair of prescription glasses. The are the same coatings that are used in “blue light glasses” which are sold for that purpose alone, and block the same amount in the blue light spectrum. Prescription blue light glasses have the same blue light filtering system as non prescription blue light blocking glasses, so that when you wear blue light glasses with a prescription there is no difference.

Blue light non prescription glasses

Many companies promote blue light glasses which are non-prescription, and they promote these blue light blocking glasses for high intensity computer users who do not need a prescription. For these customers, digital eye strain is a real problem, but there is still no medical evidence that if they wear blue light glasses they will receive a benefit. There is also no reason to buy blue light glasses frames with the blue light lenses in them, if you already have a pair of glasses frames. You can create any lenses you like in your own glasses frames, with blue light protection, and in that way make your own blue light blocking glasses.

Do you like Ray Bans? Add blue light lenses to them. The glasses frames that come pre-loaded with blue light lenses are typically low quality and are simply being pushed based on faulty claims.

Who Needs Blue Light Blocking Glasses?

Eye care professionals can quickly show you that you do not need blue light blocker glasses. They will tell you that blue light rays are beneficial in the right amounts, and they will guide you to reduce your screen time instead. If you wear prescription glasses with anti glare coating and anti blue light rays coating, you are covered.

Do blue light glasses really work?

Is it a simple question? Blue light filtering glasses can block incoming blue light waves originating from light sources such as sunlight, screens or lightbulbs. The use of blue light can affect our bodies ability to create melatonin, the hormone used in sleeping. Wearing anti-blue light sunglasses when looking at screens, especially at night, helps ensure melatonin levels are maintained.

So far, there is no scientific evidence that blue light glasses improve your vision or reduce eye strain, or that you need them at all.

What Is blue bight? Where does it come From?

Blue light emanates primarily from the sun, and also from fluorescent lights, Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs, flat-screen LED TVs and screens, LED Lights, computer monitors, smartphones, and tablet screens.

Right now, LEDs are becoming the most popular type of lighting on the market. Chronic exposure to LED lights can have a photo-toxic effect on people’s eyes. A statement from the Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety report says, “accelerate the aging of retinal tissue and contribute to a decline in visual acuity and certain degenerative disease such as age-related macular degeneration.”

While LED lights may have concerns due to blue light, it may be misleading to believe that this is the same issue with computer screens and mobile devices. 

Everyone know that blue light impacts sleep — or does It?

Good blue light is required to maintain optimal health. The body uses light to regulate its circadian rhythm, the natural wake and sleep cycle. If you are exposed to blue light during the day, this helps maintain a healthy circadian rhythm. Too much exposure late at night, such as looking at your smartphone in bed, can disrupt the sleep cycle and cause sleep problems or daytime drowsiness.

Blue filter glasses do block the bad light, as well as the good bluelight. So it is theoretically possible that blue-blocking lenses may help you; it is equally possible that blocking blue light could hurt you. There is no research either way. The main problem is not with the good or bad light, however, it is with our overuse of these devices.

Can Blue Light Glasses Protect Your Eyes

Having a pair of blue light glasses may reduce any adverse effects on your eyes. However, any claims that blue light glasses for the computer can improve sleep, reduce headaches, and prevent eye problems may be misleading due to a lack of evidence to support it. 

If you want to protect your eyes and avoid symptoms of eye strain, the best advice would be to:

  • Reduce the amount of time spent in front of a screen; 
  • Take regular breaks (i.e., 20-20-20 rule: Take breaks every 20 minutes by looking at an object 20 meters away for 20 seconds); 
  • Wear the appropriate eyewear, especially for any prescription glasses.

With all the hype in the media, blue light glasses for computer may just provide a placebo effect. Or, perhaps more time is needed for research to discover its benefits. Ultimately, getting a pair of blue light glasses comes down to personal preference. 

The Best Blue Light Blocking Glasses – Medical Evidence

What are the best blue light blocking glasses? We tried to find the answer to this question so we checked several reputable sources around the internet. “Reputable” to us means companies that do not sell blue light blocking glasses, and so have no stake in promoting them. Do you always believe the car salesman selling you a car? No, you do your own research. Here we have done the research on the best blue light blocking glasses for you, and you can judge the results for yourself:

Cleveland Clinic

“Wearing blue light glasses may sound like a good solution, but a recent study determined there was little evidence to support the use of blue-blocking filters in the prevention of digital eye strain.” It is pretty clear that the Cleveland Clinic does not believe there is any “best blue light blocking glasses” out there. Their good news is that “It is not harmful to wear them all day.” YAY, you bought glasses with a blue light filter and they won’t hurt you!

Good Housekeeping

According to this article, the user liked the glasses because it reminded her to cut down her screen time. Huh? Well, OK, if a reminder is useful for you, then spend the money to buy those glasses with blue light filters even they they don’t work as advertised. A much more useful coating is anti glare coating, because anti glare coating has been proved to reduce eye strain. Sunglasses without backside anti glare coating are much more difficult to see through. And this coating is available at a more affordable price than if you buy and wear blue light glasses.

Medical News Today

This publication cites the AAO, which is the ultimate authority on this topic (see below). Basically, “according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), there is no credible scientific evidence that the light from digital screens is harmful. Therefore, the AAO does not recommend people use blue light glasses.”


Like Medical News Today, WebMD also cites the AAO is saying that a blue light filter in your glasses lenses does no harm or good. There is no evidence of blue light glasses damage, as much blue light is not harmful and the blue light emitted from digital devices is a small part of the blue light you will be exposed to during a regular day. Artificial blue light from digital devices and light bulbs is not a huge source of overall blue light compared to the sun. Eye fatigue is caused by screen time – not blue light – and too much screen time is the main source of eye problems and sleep disorders. Basically, one pair of blue light glasses will have no effect on your health or your life.

AAO – American Academy of Ophthalmology

The AAO is THE authority on anything to do with eye health. They said it best: “When you stare at a screen for hours at a time, whether it is a computer, TV, phone or tablet, you are exposed to blue light from the device. Alarmist headlines claim blue light from too much screen time is blinding us. But there is no scientific evidence that blue light from digital devices causes damage to your eye.”

Computer Glasses

Computer glasses (sometimes called “computer reading glasses” or “reading glasses for computer use”) have become a popular topic in the eyeglasses world, due to some new companies that are promoting anti blue light glasses. To understand what they are, we need to first understand the problems they are trying to solve. The problems they are designed to relieve are digital eye strain, blurred vision, red eyes, dry eyes, and other symptoms of computer vision syndrome. To relieve these symptoms, here are three main benefits:

1) They are designed for a 20″ to 26″ distance from the computer. This is NOT the “reading” distance of 10″ to 14″, nor the distance vision distance of over 36″.

2) Blue light blocking lenses can cut down on harmful blue light.

3) Anti reflective coating can cut down on glare from computers.

Anti reflective coating added to computer glasses helps to cut down on the glare that enters your eyes from the computer screen, and any other light sources that may be in the room. For example, if your computer room has many windows, during the day it will be filled with ambient light bouncing around, and no-glare glasses will help to reduce that light from entering your eyes. Glare entering your eyes causes eye fatigue, and actually reduces visual acuity because it blocks your eyes from seeing clearly.

Computer Vision Distance – Get It Right!

Glasses can only resolve vision problems if you have the right prescription strength. No amount of coatings will help you if your eyewear is not tuned to the vision correction needs of your eyes. If you pick a pair that “seems” right to you from a drugstore, you are not going to solve the distance problem, and you will continue to experience digital eye strain and its effects. To do it right, this requires a visit to an eye doctor near you. Your eye doctor can issue a prescription for near, intermediate, and distance vision. You can then decide what types of prescription lenses you need for your lifestyle.

For example, single vision lenses, progressive lenses, and bifocal lenses can all be used. Single vision lenses are the most common, and the new glasses brands were developed this way, primarily as gaming glasses. Gamer glasses are “off the shelf”, meaning that they do not require a prescription. Again, if you “self diagnose” the power of glasses for yourself, you will not be solving your problems, and you may end up spending more money in the end. Prescription glasses are a much more effective way to handle digital eye strain, and computer vision syndrome.

Computer Vision Syndrome

For people who look at computer screens for an extended period of time, they may suffer from Computer Vision Syndrome. The symptoms associated with this syndrome include eyestrain, tired eyes, redness, irritation, blurred vision, and double vision. To reduce these effects, it’s recommended to install proper lighting, add anti-glare filters, or take regular breaks. More importantly, reduce the amount of time you spend in front of a computer.

However, the amount of harmful light radiation coming from these devices has not been linked to any kind of degenerative eye diseases. The National Library of Medicine published a study that did not find any measurable UVA or UVB radiation from monitors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are blue light glasses effective?

Although blue light blocking glasses are effective at controlling the amount of blue light passing into eye areas, they do not have a scientific evidence base for their use. In other words, it doesn’t have scientifically-proven benefits to have blue light protection glasses.

What exactly do blue light glasses do?

Blue light blocking glasses may be beneficial in the reduction of eyes pressure. Blue light can cause a headache in your eyes as they struggle to focus. Blue light glasses improve contrast on screens enabling easier focus.

Are blue light glasses worthless?

So despite being very uncomfortable, blue light-blocking lenses are probably useless. Wearing these can help improve your sleeping condition. It has been proven that blue lights have an effect on your circadian rhythm, wake and sleep cycles.

How do I clean blue light glasses?

Then you must follow any cleaning instructions on the blue light blocker glasses purchased. Blue light glasses can be cleaned with an ordinary cloth with a soft sanitizing agent to avoid stains, as well as a soft cleaning spray designed for glasses.

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