Can You Wear Blue Light Glasses All Day? Doc Explains

Many patients ask Ophthalmologist Dr. Nagori “Can you wear blue light glasses all day doctor?” Patients are concerned that wearing a pair of blue light glasses all day could be harmful or make their eyes dependent on them. Let’s take a look at the truth behind why wearing blue light glasses all day is generally not a health concern.

Can You Wear Blue Light Glasses All Day: Understanding Blue Light 

There is a lot of interest in blue light and artificial lighting with the increased use of devices, social media, and working from home. First, let’s understand blue light, where it comes from, and what it can do to your eyes.

Science Of Blue Light

Blue light is a high-energy wavelength that is part of the visible light spectrum. There are two types of blue light, which has a shorter wavelength than red light. These are natural blue light and artificial blue light. 

Natural sunlight is actually the primary source of blue light. It contains a mix of all colors in the spectrum, including blue light. Artificial blue light is emitted by digital screens like a computer screen, LED lights, and other electronic devices.

Blue Light And Circadian Rhythms

The human body has an internal clock known as the circadian rhythm, which helps regulate sleep and wake cycles. Blue light has an important role in maintaining these cycles by influencing the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that is responsible for regulating sleep. 

Exposure to natural sunlight during the day helps keep the circadian rhythm in balance. However, excessive exposure to artificial blue light, especially during the evening hours, can disrupt the sleep cycle and reduce the quality of sleep.

Potential Eye-Related Health Concerns

The human eye is not very efficient at blocking blue light, allowing most of it to reach the retina. Prolonged exposure to harmful blue light can potentially lead to various eye health issues. 

Macular Health Issues

Studies have shown a potential association between blue-violet light and an increased risk of macular degeneration. This is a condition that can affect the central part of the retina. 

Eye Discomfort & Eye Strain

Additionally, artificial blue light exposure has been linked to eye strain, dryness, discomfort, and even headaches due to extended screen usage.

Sleep Disruption

Using devices during sleep can upset the circadian rhythm balance of your body. Using blue light glasses before bed, especially if you are on a device before bed can help to minimize the impact on your body’s natural circadian rhythm.

Can You Wear Blue Light Glasses All Day: Mostly, Yes

Blue light lenses have become increasingly popular in the last decade as the use of devices has gone up in the general population. 

What Do Blue Light Glasses Do?

A pair of glasses that blocks blue light is designed to filter out a certain percentage of blue light, and prevent it from reaching the eyes. By reducing glare and enhancing contrast on digital devices, wearing blue light glasses consistently can help minimize eye strain and discomfort.

Pros Of Blue Light Glasses Wear

There are many positive aspects to wearing blue light filtering glasses. Let’s take a look.

Reduced Eye Fatigue: Wearing blue light glasses throughout the day can help reduce eye fatigue caused by long hours of screen exposure. It may also help some patients who experience headaches from using devices. 

Protect Your Retina: There is some evidence to show that blue light can negatively impact the macula and the retina of the eye. There is no harm to using blue light glasses and you may also get added benefit. 

Better Sleep: Wearing blue light glasses during the day can help improve sleep quality at night by reducing exposure to blue light from screens.

Cons Of Continuous Blue Light Glasses Wear

There really are not many downsides to wearing blue light glasses all day. However, here are some things to consider if you want to wear blue light glasses all day.

Adaptation Period: Some people may require time to get used to wearing blue light glasses all day.

Potential Overdependency: Continuous wear of blue light glasses may make users more dependent on them and hinder their ability to tolerate screen time without them.

Aesthetic Concerns: Some individuals may not enjoy the look of wearing blue light glasses all day or the visual change caused by blue light filters.

False Sense Of Security: Remember that wearing blue light filtering glasses does not mean you will never have eye issues or retinal problems. It is still important to use best practices when using devices, such as taking screen breaks, and also to keep up with your regular eye health exams. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder: In patients who suffer from mental health conditions like seasonal affective disorder (SAD), constant blue light protection could potentially have harmful effects on their mood. While there are no studies to show that long periods of blue light glasses wear can have a negative impact on patients with SAD, we know that using artifical light sources and artifical lighting are a well established way to treat SAD. If you have SAD or other mental health concerns, talk to your eye doctor and primary care doctor before you get computer glasses or prescription glasses that filter out blue light. 

Can You Wear Blue Light Glasses All Day: Additional Methods For Eye Health

It is important for individuals who spend a lot of time using electronic devices to take other precautionary measures as well.

Regular Screen Breaks

It is generally acceptable to wear blue light glasses all day. However, it is essential to be mindful of taking breaks and applying additional strategies to maintain eye health and minimize the potential disruption of sleep patterns caused by excessive screen exposure.

Relax Your Eyes By Looking Away: The 20-20-20 Rule Explained

In addition to using blue light blockers, eye health experts often recommend the “20-20-20” rule to help alleviate eye strain during screen use. This rule suggests that every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break to look at something 20 feet away. Looking at an object in the distance helps to relax accommodation of the eyes, which is how the eyes focus at near. The exercise helps the eye muscles to relax which can decrease eye fatigue and eye strain.

​Adjust Screen Brightness

Most digital devices have the ability to turn up and down the brightness of screens. Use an appropriate amount of screen brightness when you are working. Decreasing screen brightness can also help to reduce eye fatigue, eye strain and disruption of circadian rhythms. 

​Read At Arm’s Length

To minimize eye strain and blurry vision, keep screens at an arm’s length and take regular breaks.

How To Find Blue-Light Glasses

With all the options on the internet, finding a pair of blue light glasses can be overwhelming. Generally, you will want blue light glasses that filter out as much blue light as possible especially if you are on a digital device constantly.

Prescription Vs Non-Prescription Options

When considering blue light glasses, it’s important to determine whether you require prescription or non-prescription lenses. For individuals with existing vision problems, prescription blue light glasses are a great option to maintain clear, comfortable vision while also filtering out harmful blue light.

Non-prescription blue light glasses, on the other hand, are suitable for individuals who don’t require vision correction but are seeking protection against computer vision syndrome and the potential negative effects of blue light exposure. Both options typically offer clear lenses equipped with blue light filters to achieve maximum comfort and protection against eye strain.

Filtering Percentage

The level of blue light filter protection is measured as a percentage. Typically, lenses that block 40-60% of blue light are sufficient for daily use. However, those with more significant exposure or sensitivity may need a higher filtering percentage.

Lens Color

 Blue light lenses can be found in clear or slightly tinted options. Although clear lenses are often more aesthetically pleasing, tinted lenses may offer improved filtering capabilities. The choice ultimately depends on your personal preferences and needs.

Comfort And Style

Lastly, it’s essential to ensure that the glasses fit comfortably and suit your individual style. Frame shape, size, and material play significant roles in achieving a satisfactory experience with your new glasses.

Over The Counter Blue Light Blocking Reading Glasses

If you enjoy reading whether it s a book or an electronic reader, you can easily purchase reading glasses that have blue light blockers in them. You do not need a prescription for this and you can choose a power that is age appropriate. 

Lower powers are generally for those who are under 50 and higher powers, such as +2.00 or higher are generally better for patients who are above 50 years old. 

For a full video on how to choose the right reading glasses you can check out the video here on our YouTube channel:

Can You Wear Blue Light Glasses All Day: Patient-Specific Considerations

In some regions around the world, people may experience varying levels of blue light exposure due to factors such as geographical location, lifestyle, and occupation.

​Geographic Areas With Constant Sunlight

The biggest source of blue light is actually sunlight. While we tend to associate blue light with electronic devices, sunlight emits a significant amount of it. This natural blue light plays a role in regulating our circadian rhythm, which is our sleep-wake cycle. 

In the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and Åland Islands, located in the northern hemisphere, residents can experience extreme variations in daylight hours. During summer months, these areas have extended daylight hours, with almost 24 hours of sunlight. Because the sun will set very late and rise very early, there is a higher risk of blue light exposure from natural sunlight. It may be a good idea to use blue light glasses in the evening hours if you are visiting these regions. 

Office Workers And IT Workers

People who work in front of a screen for a prolonged period of time may benefit from wearing blue light glasses throughout the day to potentially reduce eye strain. If your job requires you to be on a digital device for a long time, talk to your eye doctor about how you can minimize blue light exposure. You also may experience other job related eye problems like dry eyes, especially during the periods of time when you are at work.

Get An Eye Doctor Involved

If you have concerns, it is always a good idea to consult with a medical professional. An ophthalmologist will be able to give you specific advice that is helpful to you and your situation. Each patient is unique and scheduling an appointment with an ophthalmologist so you can get medical advice specific for you.

Can You Wear Blue Light Glasses All Day: Summary

Many individuals wonder if it is safe to wear blue light glasses all day. The answer is generally yes, you can wear them throughout the day without any significant issues. In some patients who have health problems like seasonal affective disorder which is generally treated using artifical lighting, talk to your doctor before using blue blockers all day long. 

Excessive blue light exposure can have adverse effects on your sleep schedule and cognitive function. The best time to reduce exposure to UV light is during peak daylight hours to avoid potential damage to your skin and eyes. Artificial sources of blue light, such as those from light bulbs and screens, emit shorter wavelengths that can disrupt sleep patterns.

Blue light glasses are designed to filter out harmful blue light emitted from digital screens, such as computer screens, to reduce eye fatigue and other symptoms of digital eye strain. The amount of blue light emitted from screens varies depending on the device, and the severity of an individual’s symptoms can also differ on a case-by-case basis. 

Remember it is always a great idea to get a medical professional like an ophthalmologist involved in your care. They can help you determine the best ways to handle any eye issues that you are having.

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