Since the pandemic, we’ve all been guilty of staring at our screens more than we might have before. With working from home and catching up with friends over Zoom, our eyes have definitely experienced some strain over the past year or so. More than 1 in 3 people in the UK have claimed that their eyesight has deteriorated during the pandemic, that’s why more people have been investing in blue light glasses.
Blue light glasses can help to improve your focus and help reduce eye strain – but how do they work? And why do we need them?
What is blue light?
Blue light is one of the many different colours of light that humans can see – commonly known as ‘visible light’. Blue light has short and high energy waves, only slightly less powerful than ultraviolet.
Blue light can be emitted from various light sources, which includes the sun (although it’s only a fraction of the light it emits) but a lot of blue light sources are man-made, like the light from our digital screens. The length of time we spend with digital screens (like your phone) can cause concerns about the potential effects of blue light on your eye health.
Do you need to be concerned about blue light?
Blue light, like most things, is good in small doses. While blue light exposure does have some positive effects, using our screens every day can lead to overexposure. This is why some people use blue light glasses, as they can help reduce overexposure. It can help with reducing eye strain, which is something nearly 6 in 10 adults experience after using a screen for more than two hours.
But investing in a quality pair of blue light glasses, like those by Arlo Wolf, can help you keep your eyes healthy, and look fashionable while doing so. Below are some ways that blue light glasses can benefit you.
Improved quality of sleep
Our sleep/wake cycle or circadian rhythm is regulated by blue light. This cycle is how our bodies know when to wake up and when to sleep. Many people think our coffee and energy drinks are why we feel perked up and ready to start our day, but often the blue light we get from the sun is also responsible for making us feel ready to go.
This means our late-night Netflix binge viewing and social media scrolling can affect our sleep pattern with the unnatural blue light at night. This is because blue light can delay the body’s release of melatonin, which helps induce sleep. Wearing blue light lenses (also known as digital lenses), allows you to do your late-night scrolling without the restless sleep afterwards.
Reduced likelihood of eye strain
Studies have shown that prolonged exposure to blue light can impact our eyes in the long term. Most of us have experienced our eyes feeling sore after a long day of staring at screens – and considering we’ve spent most of the past two years spending even more time in front of our screens, it’s become a lot more common.
Our eyes are not built for filtering out the damaging light from reaching our retina, the thin layer of light-receiving tissue that is at the back of the eye. Repeated prolonged exposure can cause damage to its light-sensitive cells. This, as we age, can get worse and cause us to be more susceptible to eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration.
The scientific reason is that High Energy Visible (HEV) light has a short wavelength, which can make it difficult to focus, and over time our eyes feel tired, vision can be blurred, can cause headaches and for some people can cause double vision.
Along with taking breaks from your screen, blue light glasses can help you focus and reduce your eye strain while looking at the screen.
Although headaches can be caused by too much screen time, it can be something more serious in some cases, so it is important to go to the doctor if they are happening often. Sometimes though, they can be caused by high screen time – especially if you are someone who is already prone to migraines. According to a 2016 study, blue light can worsen migraine side effects.
Some side effects from blue light related headaches can include squinting, itchy/stinging eyes, blurry vision, the tension in facial and neck muscles and increased sensitivity to light.
Investing in a pair of blue light glasses can help you feel better if you do have a high daily screen time. It’s also a good idea to take a break from your screen when you can, whether it’s going out for a walk or reading a book, to destress without your screen.
by Arlo Wolf