I can see clearly now the strain has gone: A look at blue light glasses

Kasey Leigh McCrudden

As the average amount of time we spend staring at screens increases every day and so does concern surrounding the impact our digital habits may be having on our eyes.

A new product gaining traction on social media is that of “blue light glasses,” which claim to alleviate eye strain and tiredness caused by excessive screen time.

“Blue light” is made up of short light waves that are emitted from electronic devices such as computers, smartphones and energy-efficient light bulbs. It’s been linked to health problems and sleep disruption.

“Exposure to blue light prevents the release of melatonin from the pineal gland in the brain, therefore lessening the production of serotonin, which regulates sleep in the body,” optician Don Stack told Irish Life Health.

“As a result, it’s often harder to sleep if you’ve been looking at a laptop or phone, for example, before bedtime,” he added.

But how does blue light affect our optic health? According to Specsavers.ie, symptoms of “computer eye strain” include eye discomfort, headaches, difficulty focusing, blurred or double vision and increased sensitivity to light.

Eighteen-year-old Brandon Heffernan spoke to The College View about his experience with computer eye strain, which led him to purchase a pair of the savvy new specs.

“I bought the glasses off of an American site called MVMT,” he said.

“Personally I do think they work because before I bought them I played a lot of games and suffered from eye strain and headaches, since I’ve had the glasses they’ve just solved the problem completely.”

Heffernan found the glasses through an advertisement on Instagram and paid eighty euro for them. However, some sites sell them for as little as twenty euro.

“I feel better in the mornings as well. I would say the price was a bit much but for the results they had, I think they were worth it. I would one hundred percent recommend them to someone who has the same problems as I did.”

So, are blue light glasses the long-awaited solution to our habitual bleary-eyed nights? Not necessarily.

It would seem most experts are of the opinion that the best way to tackle eye strain or headaches is to take regular breaks from looking at screens. Many new devices even come with a built-in blue light filter setting as well.

Despite such a positive testimonial, there is ultimately no conclusive evidence to suggest that these lenses do work, and so until further research is undertaken, their usefulness really does remain to be seen.

Author: Kasey Leigh McCrudden

Image Credit: Revaty on Flickr