Scientists Say Blue Light Blocking Glasses May Have No Health Benefits

The general belief is that wearing blue-light-blocking glasses has many benefits and can help with many problems. Some say they can help reduce eye strain, ensure clearer vision, prevent retina damage, or even help you get better sleep. But is that actually true? Well, experts now say that blocking blue light isn’t a cure-all, and there is a lot of evidence that shows that it is not at all clear if blue light blockers are effective.

Blue Light Glasses are Used by Many Who Hope to Lessen the Effects of Digital Eye Strain

A young man wearing blue light blocking glasses
Scientists Say Blue Light Blocking Glasses May Have No Health Benefits

People reach for blue light glasses because they believe and hope they’ll reduce the stresses that come with digital eye strain. This condition affects 58% of US adults. It is characterized by headaches, blurred vision, and dry, itchy eyes, and occurs when people stare at something for a long time without blinking. This forces the eyes to focus harder and ultimately prevents normal tear distribution.

While humans generally blink near to fifteen times per minute when staring at something in close proximity, blinking occurs only half as many times. The president of the American Optometric Association, William Reynolds said, the effect can come from reading a book or if people are staring at anything else. However, he noted that computer screens are rather more difficult to look at and cause the condition more often.

Blue Light Blockers Do Not Seem to Help With Digital Eye Strain at All

Glasses resting on an open laptop
Scientists Say Blue Light Blocking Glasses May Have No Health Benefits

While computers do emit blue light, it is far less than the amount in regular sunlight. By putting blocking glasses on, the cause for the eye strain effect is not at all addressed. It has more to do with how computers are used and the length of staring at them without a break, rather than the nature of the computers themselves. Still, there may be some hope for blue light blockers because there is some merit behind the claim that blue light disrupts melatonin production, thus making it harder to get some sleep.

Тo prevent eye strain, Reynolds has recommended the 20-20-20 rule. It says that every 20 minutes, a computer user should look somewhere 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Reynolds also says people should keep a good distance away from the screen that is still comfortable. This is a good idea because the closer one is to the screen, the harder the eyes will have to work in order to focus.