I wore blue light blocking glasses every day for a week – This is what I found out.
If you spend all day staring at screens and straining your eyes, you might want to try them.
I’ve heard about blue-light-blocking glasses before: they were yellow, ugly, and certainly not worth all the laughs I would get from roommates and colleagues at work if I wore them every day.
But I had a problem: while working, I spent at least eight hours a day staring at a computer screen. In addition, in my free time, I often looked at the smaller screen – the rectangle of my iPhone, which constantly emitted much more blue light on my face.
By the end of the day, I often felt that my eyes were red and tired. And I didn’t feel relieved until I finally turned off my devices. According to The Vision Council, 200 million Americans report symptoms of digital eye overvoltage (DES), the visual discomfort that may be caused by screen viewing that lasts for more than two hours.
Blue light itself is harmless. It is everywhere, including the sunlight. Researchers have determined that blue waves – at the top of the light spectrum, just before ultraviolet light – are beneficial during the daytime because they increase focus, reaction time, and mood.
Until recently, humans were mostly exposed to natural light during the day and darkness at night. But now we are constantly bathed in artificial and mostly blue light. Excessive exposure to blue light at night suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep cycles.
A study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that when a group of boys wore orange glasses, looking at their phones for several hours before going to bed, they felt “significantly more sleepy” than when they wore clear glasses. Another study involving 20 adults had similar results.
Here’s what I learned after a week of wearing blue light blocking glasses.
Glasses that block blue light don’t have to be ugly
I tried glasses from a relatively new brand called Ortorex. Their glasses filter the upper part of the blue light spectrum, so the lenses don’t look yellow. In addition to that, the glasses have an anti-reflective coating, which also reduces eye strain.
The glasses looked very fashionable and available in several frame colors. I chose “Black matte” frame with blue light filtering and the experiment has begun.
Ortorex Blue Light Blocking Glasses
They have helped me become more aware of my screen time.
I usually wear prescription glasses (not-light-blocking) when I’m driving. I put on my blue light blocking glasses every time I looked at a screen, and it helped me to find out how often I did that. I was surprised by how often I pulled out my laptop after coming home from work, or just mindlessly flipped through my phone.
Finally, I noticed myself deliberately putting the phone away more and more often. I just sat on the porch and read more in the evenings. Even though my eyes were still working by looking at the pages of the book, giving them a break from another screen (the one I would typically be watching YouTube on) helped a lot, and as a result, I slept better afterwards.
Wearing these glasses was totally worth it
By the end of the day, my eyes feel more rested (probably due to the reduced screen time and glare) and looked vastly less red and tired. As a bonus, I got tons of compliments on my new glasses.
I would recommend these glasses to all who are concerned about digital eyestrain, along with minimizing LED lighting and screen usage at night. You can also try the 20-20-20 rule at work and at home: while working on the screen, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds every 20 minutes – an exercise recommended by the American Optometric Association.
How much did I like my blue light blocking glasses? I finished my story – but I’m still wearing them right now!
And good news for everyone who read until the end – you can order Ortorex Blue light blocking glasses with a 20% discount by code – THEFW.