Will Blue Light Glasses Help?

Man/woman working at computer with blue light glasses.

During the lockdown, most of us have spent more time staring at televisions, tablets, phones and other digital screens than ever before. So it’s inevitable that the popularity of blue light glasses has soared. Word on the street suggests that these glasses reduce eyestrain and protects your eyes from the effects of blue light. Are these rumours true? Do blue light glasses help?

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, you don’t need blue light glasses and have gone on record as not recommending blue-blocking spectacle lenses. The world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons say that blue light from digital screens doesn’t cause eyestrain and does not lead to eye disease. The overuse of digital devices causes the problems people complain about, it says.

However, some eye professionals believe that blue light glasses have benefits. Optometrist and professor of ophthalmology, Susan Primo agrees that the research so far shows digital

overuse causes eye problems. Primo admits that some patients who wear blue light glasses do report less eye strain. An argument in favour of blue light glasses is that they help you sleep better at night. LED devices hold back the body’s production of sleep-inducing melatonin.

Vision-related organisations urge moderation in screen use by adopting the 20-20-20 rule. The rule is that every 20 minutes, you need to look at an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Instead of blue light glasses, use a matte screen filter on the screen to reduce glare. Pay attention to the lighting in your workspace and use artificial tears when your eyes feel dry.

Essentially blue light technology isn’t well-founded and has a largely placebo effect on consumers. You don’t need to spend extra money on blue light glasses to improve sleep, instead decrease your evening screen time and set all devices to night mode.

To learn more about eye care and the benefits of eye surgery, visit iSurgeon’s Information Hub. Dr. Sachin Bawa’s consulting rooms are located at The Netcare Linkwood Clinic, which is conveniently located from OR Tambo International airport, Sandton, Rosebank and the Johannesburg CBD.