Why You Should Start Wearing Blue Light Glasses

Whether we like to admit it or not, we all spend a lot of time in front of a screen. Many people use a computer in their daily routine for work, students are constantly glued to their laptops, and everyone is seemingly obsessed with their smart phones. And thanks to the new way of living brought about by the coronavirus quarantine, we’re all using electronic devices even more than usual. Since we’re all confined to our homes, people are Facetiming friends and family all the time, binging TV and Netflix shows, and students have transitioned to online classes, including Zoom calls in place of lectures, and strictly digital homework. Groceries and meals are being ordered online, and if you’re like me, your online shopping habits have only worsened over the course of the past few weeks.

Woman sitting in front of computer

Now don’t get me wrong, I love my laptop and my iPhone just as much as the next person, but something many people don’t realize is that every time they stream an episode of Gossip Girl, get sucked into the blackhole that is Instagram, or even just check a text, they’re exposing their eyes to the potentially harmful effects of blue light. According to an article published by Harvard Medical School titled “Blue light has a dark side”, “Blue wavelengths—which are beneficial during daylight hours because they boost attention, reaction times, and mood—seem to be the most disruptive at night” (Harvard University Health). This study goes on to explain that blue light can interrupt your natural sleep cycle, and that “…researchers have linked short sleep to increased risk for depression, as well as diabetes and cardiovascular problems,” and that it might “…contribute to the causation of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity,” (Harvard University Health). This of course differs from person to person, considering any preexisting underlying health conditions, and there is no hardcore proof that blue light directly causes any of these illnesses. However, it can’t hurt to take some precautions; it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Harvard Medical School suggests the following practices to protect yourself from the potential damaging effects of blue light:

  • Use dim red lights for night lights. Red light has the least power to shift circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin
  • Avoid looking at bright screens beginning two to three hours before bed
  • Expose yourself to lots of bright light during the day, which will boost your ability to sleep at night, as well as your mood and alertness during daylight.
  • If you work a night shift or use a lot of electronic devices at night, consider wearing blue-blocking glasses or installing an app that filters the blue/green wavelength at night.

The final suggestion is one that I have personally tried and will attest to: I LOVE my blue light blocking glasses. Those who already wear glasses for vision purposes on a daily basis may have blue light filtering built into their lenses and may not even know it. If you’re like me, though, and don’t need glasses for their traditional sense, you are being exposed to blue light every day without protection. I purchased a pair of blue light glasses to keep myself safe (and it’s the perfect excuse for me to finally be able to wear glasses for more than fashion). Also, I’ve been prone to migraines since I was little and staring at my computer screen or phone has always agitated them and might have even been the cause of some. Since buying my blue light glasses, I try to wear them every time I know I’ll be looking at my computer screen for an extended period of time. Now, using my laptop is much more comfortable because I’m straining my eyes less, and I’ve noticed that my headaches are fewer and farther in-between. I can’t say for sure that it’s because of the reduction in blue light hitting my eyes, but it certainly can’t hurt to buy a cute pair of glasses to protect your eyes and help avoid potential long-term complications. It’s an easy, affordable way to keep your eyes sharp and your health intact, especially during these crazy times we’re living in. Plus, there are many different websites to shop around and countless styles to choose from.

Here are some trendy blue light glasses options that won’t break the bank and just might protect you from those potentially harmful effects: