Are blue light glasses effective?


Infographic by Liv Bohler.

Liv Bohler

Online school can be a strain on the eyes. With four hours or more of instruction each day, Manual students spend a lot of time staring at a screen. For this reason, many students have acquired blue light glasses to help preserve their eyesight.

What are blue light glasses?

Like regular reading glasses, blue light glasses range in style and size and do not require a prescription. However, they have different types of lenses. The blue light lens can range in tint depending on which brand they belong to and the amount of blue light they are capable of blocking or filtering out that is emitted from digital screens. Similar to the one you are reading from now.

Dr. Joseph Allen, a practicing optometrist out of Minnesota, also known as “Doctor Eye Health” on Youtube examined blue light and distance learning tips for students.

Are they worth the hype?

While prolonged exposure to blue light can cause damage to the retina, they are not the leading cause of eye issues caused by digital screens. Instead, the most eye irritation and discomfort resonates from a lack of blinking and looking at the screen too closely.

A study conducted by Celia Vimont looks further into how blue light compares to sunlight and the effects on childhood development. 

Dr. Rishi Singh from the Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Ophthalmology has suggested the use of eye drops, positioning your screen at arm’s length, and practicing the 20-20-20 rule: every twenty minutes of looking at a device look twenty-feet away for twenty seconds, when dealing with eye irritation. 

While blue light glasses have not proven effective when protecting the eyes from irritation, they are useful in maintaining your sleep schedule. The upside is that blue light can aid screen users in waking them up, the downside is that it can keep users awake as too much exposure in the late-night will make it harder to go to sleep.

Blue light glasses can be worth the hype if you are using them for their effective function and Manual students like Warren Vannort, Sophie Ma, and Marjorie Mays find them to be useful.

“I use my blue light glasses to release the strain on my eyes caused by NTI, where I spend hours staring into a screen. The bright screen tires my eyes and causes headaches, but with blue light glasses, the intensity of the light, and consequent headaches, is reduced,” said Warren Vannort (12, MST). 

“I like mine! They really help eye strain from online school and aid in preventing headaches,” said Sophie Ma (12, MST).

“When we started NTI last year I felt like my eyes were always feeling strained, so my mom ordered blue light glasses for my siblings and I, and I feel like it has really helped. The eight plus hours a day on a computer or my phone feels less harsh on my eyes now,” said Marjorie Mays (11, J&C).