Are blue light glasses effective? Here are some insights from the pros

Many claims have surfaced in the realm of blue light glasses [12].

Advocates tout their potential to enhance sleep, alleviate digital screen-induced eye strain and even alleviate headaches. To distinguish fact from fiction, let’s delve into the science behind these glasses and ascertain their actual utility.

Additionally, we’ll explore the blue light issue – is it genuinely harmful and if so, can blue light glasses provide a remedy?

How effective are blue light glasses? The concise verdict

Inquiring about the efficacy of blue light glasses leads us to a nuanced answer – perhaps, but it hinges on quality. Investing in reputable brands could offer some relief if you aim to thwart blue light without grappling with migraines or extreme light sensitivity. 

Yet, caution is in order: many brands inadequately filter blue light or exhibit inconsistent results [3]. To combat digital eye strain, your money might be better spent on regular screen breaks than subpar blue light glasses.

Unveiling blue light’s nature and origins

While natural blue light stems from the sun, artificial sources encompass fluorescent and LED lighting and devices like computers and smartphones [4]. Visible light spans various wavelengths, each carrying its energy level. 

Notably, blue light possesses the highest energy in this spectrum. Its potential to impact eye health surpasses that of other visible light types. Given the prevalence of digital screens – computers, phones, tablets – significant amounts of this high-energy blue light inundate our vision.

Are blue light glasses effective? Here are some insights from the pros
Photograph: mstandret/Envato

Is blue light inherently harmful?

The logical connection between prolonged digital device use and eye strain seems valid, leading to discomfort, blurred vision, headaches and dry eyes [5]. Eye care professionals recommend reducing blue light exposure. However, research into blue light’s potential harm yields mixed results, and its effects still need to be conclusive [67].

Examining blue light’s impact on ocular cells

In a 2019 in vitro study, researchers found that blue light harmed human ocular surface cells, theoretically suggesting protective potential [8]. Nonetheless, this was only a theoretical recommendation, as human subjects were absent from the study.

Blue light’s link to cataracts

A 2020 rat study associated heightened blue light exposure with cataract development [9]. Yet, humans and rodents vary significantly, warranting cautious interpretation.

Experts weigh in on blue light

Although digital eye strain is acknowledged by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, attributing eye damage or adverse effects solely to blue light lacks substantial scientific backing [10]. Their stance asserts that reduced blinking from prolonged screen use induces eye strain, not inherent blue light peril.

Debunking the myth of direct blue light damage

Contrary to online assertions, blue light per se does not damage eyes. No concrete evidence supports this widespread claim.

The broader issue of eye strain

Statistics from March 2022 reveal that the average American spends over 7 hours daily in front of screens [5]. Consequently, digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome affects 90% of digital device users. Symptoms include discomfort, reduced blinking, headaches, blurred vision, and more.

Varied views and ongoing study

A 2017 study involving 80 computer users found that blue blocking-coated lenses yielded benefits, improving vision and reducing glare during screen use [3]. The study’s funding source is a blue light glasses manufacturer. Ongoing research continues, aiming to solidify the benefits of blue light lenses.

Finding balance in blue light protection

For minimizing blue light exposure, quality blue light glasses may be helpful [11]. However, they don’t replace regular eye care and won’t wholly alleviate digital eye strain. To tackle eye strain effectively, cultivate good habits, take frequent breaks, and consider glasses designed for light sensitivity and migraines.


Photograph: fxquadro/Envato
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