For a few years now, they have become an integral part of many people's daily lives!
We hear more and more about blue light glasses, but it can be sometimes hard to understand how they work, why they're so beneficial, and why they're recommended.
What do blue light glasses really do?
Here are some detailed explanations of the purpose of blue light glasses and the effects they have on us. You may be convinced of their usefulness!
What is blue light?
Before we look at what blue light glasses do, it may be interesting to recall what exactly blue light is, what makes it harmful and why it’s recommended to protect yourself from it.
Blue light is both natural and artificial
Contrary to what you might think, blue light doesn't only come from screens!
It’s indeed present in all light sources, including sunlight. In everyday life, we receive blue light from:
- The sun
- Light bulbs
When we talk about blue light, we are actually referring to a small part of this light. As you probably know (🌈 rainbows regularly remind us of that), the visible spectrum is composed of different colors and blue light (and violet) represents one end of this spectrum.
And if we’re particularly interested in blue light, it’s because it is the one that produces the most energy!
Without going into scientific details, each color of the light is associated with a wavelength. And the shorter this wavelength, the more energetic it is. And you guessed it: blue light has a very short wavelength and the energy it produces is therefore very high!
The benefits and dangers of blue light
Just because the energy produced by the blue light is intense, it doesn’t mean that it is necessarily negative. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: blue light, especially sunlight, is needed on a daily basis.
That blue light :
✅ Regulates our circadian rhythm (the body's natural wakefulness and sleep cycle)
✅ Boosts alertness
✅ Helps memory
✅ Elevates mood
The problem is that the appearance of screens and artificial lighting in our daily lives has led to an overexposure to this blue light. Whether it is TV, laptop, tablet or smartphone, they diffuse a constant powerful blue light, especially because of LEDs whose light spectrum is less balanced than the one of sunlight.
And our eyes are not very good at blocking blue light!
There’s then quite a few dangers:
❌ Eyestrain after staring at a screen for too long
❌ Headches at the end of the day
❌ Disturbed sleep and insomnias
❌ Deterioration of the retina
❌ Premature aging of the lens
Blue light glasses: What exactly do they do?
The blue light glasses have been designed to eliminate all the dangers of this overexposure to blue light.
They reduce the amount of blue light received by the eyes and thus reduce the negative effects, both in the short and long term.
How do they work?
Everything happens at the level of the lense: it creates a protection, a barrier against blue light.
All the glasses work in the same way:
👉 Eyeglasses have lenses that correct the visual disturbance.
👉 Sunglasses have a filter that blocks UV.
👉 Blue light glasses also have a filter, but this time they block blue light!
This filter is applied to the lenses at the time of manufacture, but not all blue light glasses have the same filtration.
- When the lenses are transparent, the glasses filter up to 40% of blue light.
- When the lenses are tinted, the glasses filter up to 90% of blue light.
This difference is explained by the fact that the colors amber, yellow, orange or even red are more effective in blocking blue light. These tinted models were the first to be put on the market, and even if they’re still as effective as before, they’re now rather recommended for the night and for gaming. (Transparent lenses are more versatile!).
Blue light filtration can also be associated with a correction. Although blue light glasses are generally without correction, more and more opticians now offer this possibility, in addition to the options already present on the lenses.
Soothing and protection on a daily basis
Soothe and protect, that's what blue light glasses do every day!
Almost all of us have smartphones, and about 1 out of 2 people have to spend several hours in front of their computer for work. It means that we’re currently spending more than 12 hours a day in front of screens! 😱
The effects of this overdose of screens and blue light can be felt, especially with :
❌ A feeling of visual fatigue
❌ Blurred vision
❌ Dry or watery eyes
❌ A feeling of dry or watery eyes
This is not very surprising:
👉 The blue light, very energetic, is received at full power by the eyes.
👉 It makes its way from the retina to the optic nerve.
👉 In addition, the screens are at an intermediate distance, neither near nor far, which means that we do not blink enough and we force on the muscles of our eyes.
Blue light glasses help reduce these everyday symptoms!
By creating a barrier filtering the blue light, the eyes are more soothed, and even if we spend the day in front of screens, the undesirable effects are less felt.
✅ No more visual fatigue
✅ No more eyestrain
✅ No more dry or watery eyes
✅ Better concentration at work
A better quality of sleep
Helping you sleep better, that's also what blue light glasses do!
We’ve explained just before that blue light helps regulate circadian rhythms. In fact, here's how it works:
👉 The sun sets and its blue light decreases.
👉 It sends a signal to the brain that it will soon be time to sleep.
👉 The brain orders the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone.
👉 You start to feel tired and you end up going to bed.
Except that because of screens, we continue to receive blue light in our eyes and our brain is slow to activate this production of melatonin. The results are:
❌ Difficulty falling asleep
❌ Nights that are not restful
❌ Possible insomnia
That's when blue light glasses come in handy!
Once again, as they filter some of the blue light, our brain regains normal functioning.
This is all the more true with blue light glasses with tinted lenses that filter 90% of this light. When it is dark, when we’re in the bedroom without any light, when we’re watching Netflix on the computer, when we play video games or when we spend time on our smartphone, these glasses are very effective to:
✅ Fall asleep faster
✅ Sleep more deeply
✅ Reduce the risk of insomnia
✅ Feel more energetic with better quality sleep
Reduced risks in future years
Long-term protection, that's what blue light glasses also do!
While scientists agree that overexposure to blue light can be harmful to the eyes, they do not yet have enough hindsight to know the full extent of the risks. In view of its effects on the eye, they fear that in a few years, certain problems will become more frequent, in particular:
❌ Deterioration of the retina (with age-related macular degeneration - AMD)
❌ Premature aging of the lens (with occurence of cataract)
And these risks for the eyes are all the more worrying as they can lead to blindness!
Blue light glasses serve as a shield to delay these consequences.
It’s once again thanks to their filtering capacity that blue light glasses are so effective. Since this harmful blue light from the screens is directly responsible for the symptoms, the fact that the eye receives less of it helps to avoid, or at least delay, the possible appearance of these symptoms.
Therefore, you should not hesitate to:
✅ Wear transparent blue light glasses during the day when you spend a large portion of your time working at a computer.
✅ Wear tinted blue light glasses at night if you regularly end your day in front of a screen, be it your TV, laptop or smartphone.
Conclusion: What do blue light glasses do?
👍 Blue light glasses improve our daily life!
We spend so much time in front of the screens that the problems they cause tend to become a habit. But by blocking some of the blue light, we quickly realize that the days can be way more pleasant!
✅ Visual fatigue disappears.
✅ Headaches are less frequent.
✅ You sleep much better and feel more energetic!
Not to mention the fact that blue light glasses also protect us from all the risks associated with an overexposure of blue light. So if you have to choose, you might as well wear them!