We all spend a significant amount of time staring at computer screens or scrolling through smartphones. While technology has made life easier, it has also brought new problems, such as digital eye strain, headaches, and insomnia. For many individuals who frequently use digital devices, especially at night, wearing blue light glasses is automatic.
While it’s not harmful to wear blue light glasses continuously, they’re not a replacement for healthy screen habits and should be properly fit for comfort. Your optometrist can help you determine which lenses, glasses, or contacts can most benefit your lifestyle and enhance your comfort when working on digital or close work tasks.
What Is Blue Light?
First, let’s look at how blue light works. Blue light is a short wavelength, high energy emission visible to the human eyes. It’s found in sunlight, electronic devices, and LED lighting used in offices and homes. While blue light isn’t new, using digital devices elicits questions about how blue light affects the body.
Blue light has a bad reputation, but there are advantages to blue light exposure, including:
- Heightened alertness
- Improvements in seasonal affective disorder
- Aligning the body’s circadian rhythm
Currently, there is no conclusive evidence that blue light glasses can help reduce the symptoms of digital eye strain.
What Is Digital Eye Strain?
Digital eye strain is a cluster of symptoms that affect those who use screens for prolonged periods. Some of the most common symptoms experienced by computer users include:
- Eye fatigue
- Blurry vision
- Dry eyes
- Neck, shoulder, and back pain
But blue light isn’t necessarily to blame for these symptoms. Digital eye strain can be caused by a range of factors, including:
- Screen glare
- Poor lighting conditions
- Poor computer ergonomics
- Uncorrected vision issues
- Poor posture
How Do Blue Light Glasses Work?
Blue light glasses are specially designed eyeglasses that block or filter blue light. They have special lenses that can help reduce blue light exposure and are available in different sizes and styles suitable for prescription and non-prescription glasses.
Anyone who spends long hours in front of computer screens or digital devices can benefit from blue light glasses. This includes students, office workers, gamers, writers, and anyone who relies on tech for work or entertainment. However, blue light glasses don’t replace the need for healthy screen use habits and may be most effective for those who spend their late-night hours at a digital screen.
Are Blue Light Glasses Safe for Everyday Wear?
Now let’s address the question: Can you wear blue light glasses all the time? The answer is yes. You can wear them as long as you want. There is no harm in wearing them for extended periods as long as they fit correctly and do not cause any discomfort.
Strategies to Improve Digital Eye Strain
While blue light-blocking glasses may not relieve digital eye strain, other strategies can help keep your eyes comfortable.
The 20-20-20 Rule
Take frequent breaks to allow your eyes to rest from screen work. The 20-20-20 rule—every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds—can be an effective technique to prevent eye fatigue, dry eyes, and headaches from developing.
Reposition Your Screen
The placement of your screen influences how your head and arms are positioned, leading to neck and shoulder discomfort. Ideally, the screen should be slightly below eye level and at least an arm’s length away from your body.
Light Your Environment
Proper lighting can help reduce eye strain and limit glare from your screen. Whether you’re using artificial light or natural sun, structure your workspace to better suit your vision. You can adjust your screen’s brightness and contrast as the day progresses and your environment changes.
Use Eye Drops
When working and focusing for long periods, dry eyes can be common. Use artificial tears to restore moisture to your eyes, and remember to blink as you stare at your screen.
Wear the Right Prescription Lenses
Keeping your prescription lenses up to date can prevent eye strain and help your eyes feel more comfortable as you focus. Whether you choose to wear contact lenses or glasses, visit your optometrist for regular eye exams to assess your eye health and vision.
Talk to Your Optometrist About Digital Eye Strain
Blue light glasses can be worn all the time without any harm or safety concerns. However, it’s essential to note that these glasses are not a replacement for proper eye rest and healthy digital screen habits. Visit Urban Optique to discuss digital eye strain symptoms and explore methods to keep your eyes comfortable through long work or study days.