Bluelight Glasses: Do they work?
The effects of blue light on a person’s eyes are of a greater concern now than ever before. With the overall increase of screentime, the emitted light from an array of devices are arousing concerns of the development of eye problems, since blue light has the highest energy level in the visual light spectrum. Excessive exposure to blue light is said to increase the risk of developing macular degeneration, blurry vision, dry eyes, and other issues. However, to combat this potential issue, the invention of blue light glasses arose. Whether or not they fulfill their intended purpose has been an on-going debate, as many research articles claim that blue-blocking lenses are ineffective against the light emitted from screens.
One investigation was conducted by the American Journal of Ophthalmology, in which they randomly chose 120 people with eye strain because of excessive computer usage. Each individual was given a pair of either regular glasses (a placebo) or blue light glasses, but all patients believed they had the blue-blocking pair. After wearing the assigned glasses while doing a computer task for two hours, researchers used critical flicker-fusion frequency (CFF) to measure eye strain in the individual’s eye. The results showed no significant difference between the CFF score of people with the placebo pair and the blue light pair. This led to the conclusion that blue light glasses do not protect one’s vision from eye strain any better than a normal pair of eyeglasses.
A second study on ScienceDirect organized a similar investigation, however it was primarily focused on how blue-blocking lenses can decrease melatonin levels. The suppression of melatonin is said to cause poor sleep quality, so patients were tested by having one week without glasses, and the other with the blue light glasses. They had to be worn consecutively, from 6PM until bedtime. Wrist actigraphy was used to collect objective data and sleep diaries were written for subjective data. In the results, patients said they experienced better sleep with the blue light glasses, but interestingly enough, the objective measures were not greatly impacted. Just like in the previous investigation, blue light glasses were ineffective.
Both experiments have shown that blue light glasses do not protect one’s eyes from screen-time-associated issues. However, as technology advances, this may be subject to change.