Have you ever gotten to the end of the workday and had a horrible, splitting headache after sitting in front of your computer for hours? Or do you find it hard to sleep at night after checking your email or using your tablet? If your answer is “yes,” you are just one of many millions of Americans who experiences adverse effects from blue light.
LED screens on computers, televisions, tablets, and cell phones emit high energy light waves commonly known as blue light. These wavelengths are shorter than most other wavelengths of visible light on the electromagnetic spectrum. There is much that we do not understand about blue light, but what we do know is that overexposure to blue light can be uncomfortable, potentially dangerous to our eyesight and disrupt our natural sleep cycle.
According to the Vision Council, overexposure to blue light is a nationwide problem. Two in 5 Millennials, 1 in 3 Gen-Xers and 1 in 4 Baby Boomers spend at least nine hours in front of a computer screen per day. Most of us have experienced the physical symptoms of digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome, characterized by eye pain, dry eye, headaches, and back and neck pain. Blue light can reduce our blink rate which causes dryness, and staring at a screen for long periods of time contributes to eye fatigue and muscle aches. High-energy light waves also suppress the production of melatonin, the hormone that causes sleepiness at night (Source: Vision Council).
Some studies show that the answer to all these problems could be found in a simple pair of glasses. Orange tinted blue-light blocking glasses can filter out short wavelengths of light in the blue section of the visible spectrum. These glasses can help reduce digital eye strain and maintain melatonin production. Many companies manufacture these glasses, and they make similar claims that their glasses:
- Are made of high optical quality distortion-free polycarbonate and coatings
- Block harmful blue light
- Reduce digital eye strain when viewing LED screens
- Reduce migraine headaches
- Meet FDA standards for highest quality control
- Prevent the suppression of melatonin
If you suffer from symptoms of digital eye strain or sleeplessness due to overexposure to blue light, you may want to try purchasing some blue light-filtering glasses. Talk to your ophthalmologist at your next comprehensive eye exam for recommendations!