If you’ve ever visited my Instagram, you’ve noticed I’m partial to cool-toned images, aka more blue than yellow. I was actually pretty annoyed when the iPhone “Night Mode” feature became standard + shifted the screen more yellow – my images don’t look great that way. But after doing some research on the night-mode phenomenon, I am fully on board for all tactics of managing blue light intake, including using computer glasses.
I have pretty bad vision. In fact, it is so bad, they don’t even make quarter-varied contacts this high up, just halves. At my last eye doctor appointment, we discussed that, as well as ways I could reduce my eye strain. Working in digital marketing, I spend pretty much all day on the computer. If it’s not my computer, it’s my phone – both of which emit blue light. My eye doctor (s/o Dr. Koester) recommended I get some computer glasses to reduce my exposure to blue light.
What’s the deal with blue light?
It may seem like light is light, but that isn’t actually the case. For thousands of years, people have only been exposed to natural light from the sun which has a natural timer. The invention of electricity + other forms of artificial light gave rise to blue light access, 24/7. While there is little research that shows overexposure to blue light is in itself a health hazard, its effects can have long-term consequences.
One of the biggest issues with blue light is the damage it does to your circadian rhythm. Our bodies have evolved to understand that during the day, especially the morning when we wake up, it should be bright outside. This blue-rich light tells our bodies it is time to get going. As the day progresses, natural sunlight dims + darkness sets in. In the past, this would have been your signal to go to sleep. But, with modern technology, we create our own light + go to bed when we want, not when we can no longer see. LED lights, computers, TVs, etc. give off blue light which inadvertently tells our bodies it is time to stay awake + suppress the secretion of melatonin.
Another big issue with blue light is the eye strain it causes. Because blue light has a shorter wavelength than other colors of light, it is not easy to focus on. This causes a lot of visual noise that your eyes have to sift through. If you’re on a computer + phone like me all day, your eyes are getting near-constant exposure to this type of light. Using computer glasses to block out blue light even for part of the day can help reduce this strain on your eyes.
How Computer Glasses Help
Computer glasses work the same as sunglasses. They filter out certain UV rays, in this case, blue. You used to be able to spot computer glasses a mile away. They had thick yellow lenses to neutralize the blue light. Recent advancements, however, allow for glasses to mostly ditch the yellow lenses if they are only filtering out higher frequency blue light. By blocking out some of the blue light, you’re giving your eyes the chance to view content with less visual noise + reducing the strain on them.
Another perk of computer glasses is that you can get them with magnification. If you’ve been having issues seeing your screens or small type, getting glasses with slight magnification can help alleviate that issue without having to get full-on reading glasses. There are TONS of options for computer glasses out there. A Good Housekeeping article recommends these from Felix Grey. I went the cheap route + got mine on Amazon. I honestly can’t visual tell a difference when looking through the glasses except for reduced glare, but I do notice a night yellow tinge when something white is behind them. I am also more tired at the end of the day.
If you decide to give the glasses a go, let me know how they work for you!