Whether for work or play, we’re constantly engaging with digital screens throughout the day. We check our emails on our phones first thing in the morning (and probably spend a few minutes scrolling Twitter and Instagram too), then spend hours working away on our desktops and laptops, and finally come home to binge watch hours of our favorite shows before we head to bed for the evening and do it all over again the next day. While integral to our daily lives, the LED digital screens that we constantly look at emit blue light rays, which can cause potential damage to the eyes due to prolonged overexposure.
However, it is possible to reduce your exposure to blue light without having to totally overhaul your screen time schedule. Blue light glasses are a form of eyewear that contain lenses that filter out a percentage of the blue light that digital screens emit. By wearing blue light glasses, you can help keep your eyes safe from the negative effects of blue light such as eye strain, headaches, and interruptions in your natural sleep cycle. Plus, if you need glasses to see, you can easily get blue light glasses fit to your proper prescription. Read on to find out how to pick the perfect blue light glasses for you!
What Is Blue Light and How Does It Affect Our Eyes?
Blue light is a form of visible light that’s created by electromagnetic waves. Blue light isn’t entirely bad for us: for instance, the sun produces blue light which signals our bodies to wake up in the morning and keep our circadian rhythms on track. However, we tend to get overexposed to blue light due to the many different LED digital screens that we interact with on a daily basis. Too much blue light can be especially harmful to the retina, the part of the eye which converts light into neural signals that the brain uses to create the images we see.
Some of the most common symptoms people experience as a result of blue light overexposure from screens include:
- Dry Eye: When we look at blue light screens, we tend to blink less. As a result, our eyes produce less moisture and are more likely to dry out, which can cause discomfort.
- Headaches: Many people report headaches from staring at blue light screens for too long. Blue light can be especially triggering for those that suffer from chronic migraines.
- Sleep Disruptions: If you look at blue light screens too close to bedtime, they can affect your circadian rhythm by keeping you up. As such, your body will produce less melatonin, making it harder to get to sleep.
How to Choose the Right Blue Light Glasses
Blue light glasses come in a variety of lens types to suit your vision needs. There are three main types of blue light glasses that you can choose from: unmagnified, fully magnified, and multi focal.
Unmagnified blue light glasses are for those with perfect vision who don’t need a vision prescription. As such, they come with lenses that don’t add any additional magnification, so you can see normally while protecting your eyes from your screens’ blue light rays. You could also choose to wear unmagnified blue light glasses if you prefer to wear contacts and the blue light glasses over them solely for eye strain protection.
Fully magnified blue light glasses come with lenses that are magnified to the specifications of your vision prescription. By getting a pair of fully magnified blue light glasses that match your prescription, you can easily swap your normal glasses out for your blue light ones when you know you’re going to be looking at a screen for a good amount of time.
Multi focal blue light glasses feature lenses with three different magnifications that are placed from top to bottom in the lens. The lowest section of the lens will contain the magnification that matches your usual vision prescription, which you’ll use for up close reading. The middle section of the lens will contain a slightly lower magnification, for general computer use. The top section of the lens will contain a prescription that is approximately half the strength of the bottom one, which will help provide visual clarity when looking at people and objects nearby. By having a multifocal lens, you won’t have to take your blue light glasses on and off repeatedly in order to see different things. Multi focal lenses are great for people who need reading glasses to see things up close, but tend to need a lesser prescription for things far away.
Blue light glasses are a great form of eye protection against blue light overexposure. When searching for the best blue light glasses for you, you’ll want to consider your vision prescription needs and choose between an unmagnified, fully magnified, or multi focal pair. While blue light screens may be hard to avoid, blue light glasses can help keep your eyes in top shape when looking at them throughout the day.