If you have been watching TV for too long…
Or you have been stuck at your desk working on a computer all day…
And you have noticed tired, strained, or dry eyes…Then that could be down to that pesky blue light!
Perhaps the solution is blue light blocking glasses? But before you buy, you may want to consider the top 11 problems I’ve had or seen with them.
What is blue light?
It’s a part of the light spectrum, and it is found in nature, where most of your exposure to it will be from the Sun.
Your eyes are used to this exposure to blue light, as it comes with a wide range of other light…we are talking full spectrum.
However, we have vastly increased our exposure to blue light from artificial lighting in TVs, Computers, and Mobile Phones over recent decades.
This type of artificial blue light is very concentrated and comes with a very narrow range of light on the spectrum.
Blue artificial light is alleged to cause eye damage and affect things like sleep length and quality. (1)
Bad sleep equals poor health and poor health is not we want!
With more and more people becoming aware of the possible health issues that arise from overexposure to artificial blue light, a solution has arisen; blue light blocking glasses, aka Blue Blockers.
These are said to block out the harmful blue light from screens, preventing long-term damage to the eye, and helping you sleep better.
The potential pitfalls?
You have likely already done a bit of research if you are thinking about buying blue light blocking glasses.
It is unlikely to be something that has just cropped up in conversation when you were around your Gran’s for tea.
I believe it is important to look at things from all sides before purchasing something… otherwise, you just end up with a garage full of crap you never use.
With that in mind, these are some of the potential pitfalls you might need to consider before making a purchase:
Is it bad for YOU
Everyone is different, and some people are more robust than others. Some people may be highly affected by artificial blue light; some people could be sat in front of a laptop 12 hours a day for all their lives and have no issues.
Have you personally experienced issues when spending too long in front of a screen?
If you are working outside as a farmer all day, should you really be worried about spending a couple of hours on Netflix before you go to bed for a solid 8 hours? Possibly not.
Should you be more concerned about blue light if you work in an office during the day, you are a gamer at night, and you live on 4 hours of sleep? Probably.
80% of the benefits will come from 20% of the work. This means that you can do some big things to get as close to optimal health with a small amount of effort.
For example, losing weight and cutting out sugar could get you to 80% of your optimal health.
You might need to do another 1000 things to get to 99%.
So, if you sat here procrastinating about if you should buy blue light blocking glasses but you are 30 pounds overweight and have IBS.
Then you probably have more important issues to sort out first. Once you have mastered all the “big wins,” you can start looking into the smaller hacks.
They ARE hacks
Talking of hacks and biohackers! Blue light glasses fall into that definition perfectly.
You have identified a potential problem: blue light from screens could cause eye and overall health issues.
What is your conclusion to this problem? To wear some glasses that enable you to carry on looking at screens well into the night.
And I understand this I do; we live in a modern world and we have to work. Therefore, wearing glasses could be a good option.
But you shouldn’t just use the glasses and pat yourself on the back.
You should also do things to reduce your exposure in general, like changing your light bulbs to amber tint, spend more time reading, spend more time outside in daylight, and let the darkness be your lullaby to an earlier bedtime.
You are blocked
In my head, blocking means blocked, so you could be tricked by marketing into thinking that they block all the blue light for ultimate health benefits.
But most of them are really just filters by definition. They filter out some of the blue light, meaning not all glasses are created equally.
Buy cheap buy twice
This is not a hard and fast rule, and a brand name doesn’t ensure a good product.
But you are probably more likely to get a good product from a brand that has been around for a long time.
Rather than just sorting by the low price on Amazon. You are wanting a specific benefit for your eyes, so make sure you are getting that benefit.
Is it even a benefit
The glasses might do exactly what they say on the tin! They might block out loads of blue light and you sleep awesomely.
But who is to say that by blocking out the blue light, which you think is a plus… but it causes other problems somewhere else in the eye or body.
The body is rarely a simple checklist of things you need to do. Where you have 10 problems, and you need to do 10 separate things to resolve them, as usually, those 10 solutions might have a knock-on effect to another 100 things going on in your body.
Therefore, I prefer general lifestyle improvements over specific “hacks”.
Some people simply don’t like wearing glasses or can’t afford the “posh” ones they think they will look good in.
So, they end up buying a pair, think they look stupid in them, then relegate them to the drawer until spring cleaning comes around.
If you are this type of person, either get over it or don’t bother buying them.
To be fair, most people only use them at home in the evening, so vanity shouldn’t be a huge issue.
When humans think they are onto a good thing, they have a tendency to overuse something they thinks is working.
So, they may start wearing them all the time, which could be just as counterproductive as not wearing them at all.
During the day I would be unsure if they should be worn, even if you are looking at a screen all day at work.
You are actually meant to be awake and alert during the day and the glasses might prohibit that. Certainly, don’t wear them whilst driving or using machinery.
One of the biggest problems I have with the glasses is at night. The whole point of wearing blue light blocking glasses at night is to not mess with my melatonin production.
Here is an example. It’s a late-night of work, I have my blue blockers on, but I need to see the true colors of an image from my laptop.
I now take off my glasses, and immediately I am bombarded with artificial blue light.
Like that, my melatonin production stops and I have to start back at square one for the evening.
Test test test
If you decide to take the plunge and buy some glasses. Then test them out properly to see if they have an effect on your health.
Don’t change anything else at the same time, keep everything else the same like your diet and exercise routine.
No matter what people say, there is no settled science on blue light blocking glasses. However, I do use RA Optics glasses and I feel they are beneficial for me.
They have spent a lot of money in the research of their lenses and have therfor made some very high quality lenses that actually block a ton of artificial blue light.
It is settled science for me personally as I feel better when using them. Will they work for you?
Use internet “guru’s” and articles like this to inspire your experimental side. People will have their own opinions, and you may hear convincing arguments on both sides of the blue light debate… but until you actually test it out, you will never really know.
Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. Consult with and ask your doctor about any diet or medical-related questions. No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition. This is not medical advice.