How do you block blue light?
1. Blue light filters, like an anti-glare, you can add this filter to your prescription. There are also ways to filter the blue light by turning on “night shift” on your iPhone or “night mode” on your Android.
2. Blue light glasses - you can order glasses with lenses to filter blue light and wear when you’re on devices.
3. Blue light blockers - these are the most extreme option that claims to work best when worn two hours before bed to completely shut out the blue color on screens, devices, even fluorescent lights.
Who needs them?
Kingwood mom Laura Couvillon and her three kids all wear glasses and due to the pandemic, they’re staring at screens all day, which Laura thinks might have been affecting her health.
“I was having trouble sleeping and I didn’t want to take any medication or anything,” she said.
Even the kids say screen time can get exhausting.
“Sometimes I got headaches,” Elizabeth Couvillion said.
Recently, Laura started using blue light blockers.
“I had to get the fit-over-your-glasses, and this is what it looks like,” Laura said, while putting them on, “I totally wear them every night!”
So now, she’s considered it for her kids, especially with so much virtual learning lately.
Ophthalmologist Ruhi Soni from Kelsey-Seybold Clinic said any age group can try these, although, she suggests other attempts to ease eye strain first.
“I would not be more likely to suggest blue-blocking filters or glasses for young children or teens,” Dr. Soni said.
How can I reduce blue light without buying into a product?
According to Dr. Soni:
1. Sleep: We can improve our sleep by reducing screen time, esp. at night. If you really need that extra time on a computer or cell phone, then consider switching the device to night mode.
Most experts recommend avoiding looking at devices two hours before bed.
2. Eye strain: Digital eye strain is not caused by blue light. Common symptoms of eye strain include dry eyes, blurry vision, tearing or watery eyes, and headache. Most of us get eye strain because we’re not blinking enough while staring at the screen! Take breaks every 20 minutes to reduce eye strain symptoms.
“Every 20 minutes, I tell my patients to look away for the screen at a distant object for about twenty seconds. This break allows the eyes to replenish and rejuvenate. Additionally, hydrating drops like artificial tears can help reduce eye strain symptoms,” Dr. Soni said.
Why do some people prefer the glasses over lifestyle changes?
Some eye doctors strongly endorse anything to reduce blue light.
The theory is, screens emit blue light, which is similar to sunlight. If you never see darkness, your internal clock can be thrown off.
Couvillon swears blue light blockers reverse that effect.
“Our circadian rhythm is off in this digital age. We are on our phone, we have fluorescent lighting, our bodies don’t naturally know it’s morning time to wake up then it’s evening time to go to bed. When it’s evening time to go to bed, your brain naturally makes melatonin. That’s what these glasses help you do. You put them on, they tell your brain the sun is setting,” she explained how she believes her blue light blockers work.
Are they safe to wear all day?
Dr. Soni said there’s no known adverse reaction or safety hazard for wearing them all day.