As technology continues to consume our daily habits, it’s not surprising to find out that the increased screen time can wreak havoc on your vision over time. In the past six years making the transition from college student reading textbooks all day to a full-time employee working in analyst positions in front of a computer, I noticed that my eyesight has deteriorated rather dramatically from the pristine 20/20 vision I had just a year after college. After much convincing from my boyfriend to adopt blue light blocking glasses, I bit the bullet and scooped up my first pair. Three weeks in and I’m completely hooked.
The first thing you need to know about blue light is it is not “new”. Blue light is naturally emitted from the sun and also comes off of every technological device you stare at during the day: computer screens, televisions, cell phones, and yes even your iWatch releases blue light. It’s not that blue light is bad, we need it to have a normal circadian rhythm, but we have increased exposure to blue light at the wrong times in our modern world. It’s blue light after dusk that is most damaging.
“It’s blue light after dusk that is most damaging”
The next thing you need to know is that the way blue light affects our eyes it can (in a study listed in this story from Popular Science) kill the photoreceptors -rods and cones responsible for seeing sharply, clearly and true colors-, which once damaged, do not regenerate. While it’s highly unlikely to have sudden catastrophic changes to your vision from being exposed to blue light, as with other preventative beauty and health regimens, starting early in protecting yourself is key to having healthy vision for the rest of your life.
As a note about my own eye health and technology habits- I do not currently wear glasses nor contacts. Lately when I drive at night, the headlights of other cars create starbursts and have been having increased difficulty with depth perception. That being said I spend about 10 hours a day on my laptop or phone. I have been finding it difficult to fall asleep but wasn’t certain if that was due to anxiety or a restless mind.
My first week of having blue light blocking glasses the only difference I could tell was that the bridge of my nose ached from the weight of wearing glasses all day. However, I followed through and wore them from sun up to sun down and even kept them on while reading before bed. My second week I would wear them sporadically throughout the day and noticed almost immediately that when I didn’t wear these glasses, I would have intense eye strain at the end of the day. I’m on my third week now and I won’t even travel without wearing these glasses plus they’re so inexpensive I don’t mind if I lose a pair. I would wager to say that I’m falling asleep quicker at night but have also been practicing yoga so I’m not sure if there is a correlation there.
One last thing you may be wondering, how do blue light blocking glasses work? Just like sunglasses, these glasses have a filter (typically a shade of yellow) that bounce the lightwave back preventing it from coming into direct contact with your field of vision. While styles range from full coverage to sleek and stylish (like these ones I’m wearing), they all work to block the light from your vision.
While I’m not a doctor and have not been provided any of this information from a medical professional nor am I legally permitted to give any medical advice, I do personally feel that I have benefitted from wearing blue light blocking glasses during the day and before I go to sleep. I like that these are stylish and inexpensive, so even if these get lost or damaged, I can reorder easily. I am only three weeks into wearing these glasses but since you all were so interested in them when I shared about it on Instagram I thought I would review my experience so far. And so far so good! Whether a study comes out in three months that tells us we’re all crazy for wearing blue light blocking glasses because they don’t work, at least I’ll finally know what I look like wearing glasses- and I don’t hate it.
Shop Some Blue Light Blocking Glasses Below