Why Do We Need Blue Light Glasses?
If you're up to date on the latest health trends, you may have heard of blue light glasses. These trendy glasses help protect our eyes from "blue light," light that can be damaging over time due to the close proximity of one of its most common sources--cell phones.
But what is "blue light," anyway? And why do we need to protect our eyes from it? Let's dig in.
Blue light refers to light with a short wavelength and high amount of energy.
In its natural form, light is made up of the wide range of colors we know as the rainbow. All colors of light have a wavelength and an amount of energy. The reason visible light follows the "ROYGBIV" format is because this is pattern light follows when you organize the colors in order of their wavelengths and the amount of energy they hold.
For example, red light has a long wavelength and a relatively low amount of energy. On the other end of the spectrum, blue light has a short wavelength and a much higher amount of energy. Just like getting a sunburn, when we're exposed to too much energy from low-wavelength light (otherwise known as "blue light"), we experience unpleasant and sometimes painful side effects.
Photo Credit: All About Vision
When are our eyes exposed to blue light?
While sunlight is the main source of blue light (given that it's the source of ALL light, after all), blue light also has sources in many pieces of modern technology. For example, fluorescent, LED, and CFL light bulbs all produce a large amount of blue light.
More importantly, perhaps, screens emit a large amount of blue light. This includes LED televisions, computer monitors, and the screens of our personal devices like cell phones and tablets. This last category is what brought about blue light glasses, given that we hold our devices so close to our faces while we use them.
When is blue light good for you?
It's important to note that blue light isn't always bad for you. In fact, we need blue light in our lives because it's directly tied to our well-being. Blue light helps boost alertness, memory, cognitive function, and mood--if you're feeling "blue" on a rainy day, it could be because you're not getting enough blue light from the sun!
Blue light also helps our bodies regulate their circadian rhythm, the natural cycle that helps us wake up or go to sleep. Our bodies are tuned into blue light from the sun, so that when the sun goes down, we know to sleep while it's dark out.
When is blue light bad for you?
Have you ever had trouble sleeping after spending an hour or two surfing the web on your phone? Blue light from mobile devices can interfere with the body's natural circadian rhythm, and trick it into thinking it's still daytime long after the sun has gone down.
Similarly, digital eyestrain (redness, irritation, soreness, and difficulty focusing the eyes) is a major problem produced by over-exposure to blue light from devices. Over time, extensive digital eyestrain can even lead to damage to the retina or major eye issues like macular degeneration (vision problems usually related to age, which can be exacerbated by blue light overexposure).
How can I protect my eyes from blue light?
The best way to protect your eyes from blue light is to put a barrier between your eyes and the source. When you're out in the sun, invest in a good pair of sunglasses.
At home or work, try to limit your screen time whenever you can. If your work demands sitting in front of a computer or screen for a long time, be sure to take frequent "eye breaks." These don't have to be long and involved--all you really need to do is shift your focus to something further away than your screen for fifteen to twenty seconds, every hour or so.
Many mobile devices come with a "dark mode" or "blue light mode" that automatically reduces the amount of blue light your device produces. If your device doesn't have this, you can also invest in a screen filter, a thin sheet designed specifically for your computer monitor, tablet, or mobile phone. These filters reduce the amount of blue light that gets through, and are especially useful for using devices after dark.
For all-around protection, try a pair of blue light glasses. These glasses are specifically designed to protect your eyes and vision from damage from excessive blue light. They're an excellent choice for office workers, gamers, and anyone who spends a good portion of their day in front of a screen.
A few weeks ago, we rolled out the brand-new Blue Light Glasses Collection! Here at Bomber Eyewear, we're all about eye safety, and our new Blue Light glasses help keep your eyes and vision safe from damage from screens and devices.
Shop the Blue Light Collection for stylish, near-clear lenses that offer comfortable protection as you scroll, read, and click your way through your day.