What is Blue Light Anyway?
The daily strains of modern life seem to bombard us from all angles, but why is it especially important to shield yourself from High Energy Visible (HEV) blue light?
There is a lot of confusion today over what blue light is, whether it is actually bad for do you really need blue light filter glasses? The truth is blue light isn't actually a bad thing, its everywhere. We get more blue light from the sunlight than we do our electronic devices. Not only this, but researchers have determined that blue wavelengths are actually beneficial during daylight hours because they boost attention, reaction times, and mood.
However, over the best part of the last century, we have gone from being exposed only to natural light during the day and darkness at night, to constant artificial light wherever we go. Now, why is this bad? As we spend more time staring at monitors, iPads, and smartphones, we increase the amount of blue light we are exposed to, and that’s where blue light filtering glasses might help. Other than the fact that being bombarded with artificial light all day causes eye strain, dry eyes and even headaches, it can cause problems with your sleep. Too much exposure to blue light at night can suppress the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep cycles. Whenever we use our digital devices, especially late into the night, we’re actually telling our brains to keep our bodies awake.
“The brain associates blue light as daytime, so if a person is exposed to blue light for long periods of time during the night, blue light makes it more difficult for us to fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning,”
Dr Varma, founding director of Southern California Eyecare and Vision Research Institute
As scientists learn more about the potential harmful effects excessive of blue light, a way to avoid a disrupted sleep cycle and digital eye strain has been to purchase blue light filter glasses. Even if you don’t need glasses to see clearly, it might be a good idea to always wear blue light blocking glasses when using digital devices. Up to you!
WHAT DO BLUE LIGHT FILTER LENSES DO?
To put it simply, blue light filter lenses help ease eye strain and the sleeplessness you may experience from excessive amounts of screen time. To put it not so simply, blue light lenses filter out blue light by blocking the transmission of a specific segment or range of wavelengths. The blue light filter lenses help to decrease the amount of blue light displayed on the screen of your device as the eye does not block blue light well. The cornea and lens block UV rays from reaching the back of the eye (the retina) however, blue light passes through these structures and can reach the retina.
“Blue light is the portion of the visible light spectrum with the shortest wavelengths (400 to 500 nanometers or nm) and with the highest energy, hence it is often referred to as high-energy visible (HEV) light,”
Dr. David Friess, of the Eyesafe Vision Health Advisory Board
In a perfect world, you’d stop looking at screens four hours before bedtime, however that is never going to happen. A lot of people stare at devices all day and then when they come home, they watch TV and look at their phones. Nothing is going to change. People may try to cut down on their exposure to blue light but it is inevitably unavoidable. Adding blue light filters to your spectacles can help protect your eyes by providing a barrier between you and those artificial sources of blue light, therefore helping to alleviate those annoying side effects from too much screen time. After all, you wouldn't think twice about wearing sunglasses to protect you from UV?
BLUE LIGHT FILTER GLASSES DON'T HAVE TO BE UGLY
In the past, clinical anti blue light glasses might have looked like something that would be better suited at a Kraftwerk concert or a science experiment. But don't worry there is a way to avoid the bright orange safety goggle look! Blue light filter lenses can now be added to your MONC spectacles and appear without that heavy orange tint, thus saving you strange looks. So while there's no real evidence that wearing blue light glasses can help prevent eye damage or fatigue, wearing them certainly won’t do you any harm. If they help you work, sleep, and feel better, start wearing them.
Blue light filter lenses are available to add on to your prescription at check out.
A USEFUL TIP
But we do have a friendly warning - Blue Light Filter lenses do slightly alter the colouration of your vision, as they enhance warm tones and filter the blue. We advise anyone needing to see true tones for their work or otherwise to take note.
Images courtesy of GIPHY
Article sources: 'Blue Light Has A Dark Side', 'Blue Light: It's Both Bad and Good For You'.