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  • Writer's pictureAtanas Bogoev M.D. and Maria Cholakova

Are Blue Light Glasses Effective?

With the increasing use of digital devices in our lives, the concerns about the potential harm of screen exposure are growing. Eye doctors often meet patients who seek guidance on the impact of screen time on their vision and question the blue light glasses' effectiveness.

In this article, we separate fact from fiction with insights into blue light glasses' benefits and their practical use. In other words, we are here to help you figure out if blue light glasses are worth it or not!

Understanding Blue Light, Screens, and Circadian Rythm

Blue light is a portion of the light spectrum with short wavelengths and high energy levels. Sunlight, digital screens, LED lighting, and fluorescent bulbs emit blue light.

Blue light regulates our circadian rhythm and boosts alertness during the day. However, we also associate excessive exposure, particularly at night, with sleep pattern disruptions and digital eye strain (computer vision syndrome).

But why is this contradiction happening?

Because when you use screens at night, you may confuse your body into thinking it's still daytime. Thus disrupting the natural sleep-wake cycle, resulting in difficulty falling asleep, eye discomfort, and headaches.

In summary, while blue light has perks during the day, it's best to limit exposure at night. Or simply adjust the screen settings to night mode to reduce discomfort.

are computer glasses and blue light glasses effective

The Role of Blue Light Glasses

Blue light glasses, also known as computer glasses, feature lenses with special coatings allegedly filtering out blue light. Because of this, these types of eyeglasses are widely advertised as a means to counter the negative effects of too much screen time.

But do they? Is it too good to be true? Are blue light glasses good for you or bad for the eyes, though?

It's only natural to have doubts about the blue light glasses' effectiveness. After all, they are quite popular. So people tend to assume wearing them will solve all their screentime discomforts like blurry vision, tiredness, headaches, eye fatigue, stiffness, and so on. The truth is a bit more complicated.

Investing in blue light filters for your eyeglasses lenses can't harm you. So if you already have them, there's no need to panic. Some people do find relief from digital eye strain when using computer glasses, you may be one of them. But that's not a one-fits-all solution.

Keep in mind, that computer glasses only block a portion of the light emitted by screens. So if somebody promises you full protection, they may be overstating their claims.

Blue Light Filtering Lenses Prescription

No need to ask your eye doctor for a special blue light glasses prescription. Filtering lenses don't correct vision, nor affect eye health or visual acuity in any way. Request the lens coating (blue light filter) from your optician when you go to buy your glasses.

Who Uses Computer Glasses?

Blue light protective glasses are most popular among gamers and office workers.

Blue light glasses for gaming make sense, since gamers spend most of their time on their computers, consoles, VR headsets, and mobile devices.

Office workers often buy them without actually needing glasses, too, to cope with the headaches and eye discomforts from staring at screens at work.

Separating Fact from Fiction

Despite their popularity, scientific evidence supporting blue light glasses' efficacy in reducing CVS (computer vision syndrome) remains limited. While some individuals may report subjective improvements in comfort and visual clarity when wearing them, the blue light glasses benefits are not always reproducible in clinical studies.

Recent Studies Addressing the Blue Light Glasses Myths

Two recent studies stand out to prove the blue light glasses hype may be a bit excessive:

1. Cochrane Systematic Review (2023)

A recent Cochrane Systematic Review analyzed 17 randomized controlled trials from six countries. The review finds no short-term advantages of using blue light filtering lenses to reduce visual fatigue from computer use. It remains unclear whether these lenses affect vision quality or sleep-related outcomes. The evidence is inconclusive and uncertain for claims about the benefits of blue light glasses.

2. Scientific American (2023)

A study by Scientific American found blue light filtering lenses did not offer a significant short-term advantage in reducing vision fatigue when compared to standard clear lenses. The study, examining the impact of these glasses on eyesight, indicated minimal to no effect on alleviating eye strain.

Evidence-Based Recommendations for People with CVS

Relying solely on computer glasses will not likely ease your CVS and eye strain symptoms.

Protect your eyes from screen light exposure and follow these eye doctor recommendations instead:

  • Take screen time breaks

  • Ensure adequate ambient lighting

  • Reduce screen glare (adjust screen brightness)

  • Use night/dark mode on your device

  • Position your screen at arm's length

  • Limit screen time before bed

By prioritizing these principles, you ease the strain on your eyes without spending extra money on special lenses with a blue light filter. While blue light glasses may offer reassurance and slight comfort for some individuals with eye strain, their effectiveness remains debated within the scientific community.


Checked by Atanas Bogoev MD.

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