Recently, some of my students are showing up for our weekly tutoring sessions with new protective “Blue Light Glasses.” I was curious so I did some research to pass along to you.
What is blue light?
Everyday we’re exposed to blue light from the sun. It can boost attention, reaction times, and mood. We also receive blue light from LED light bulbs and our screens—TV’s, tablets, laptops, and cell phones—which give off a brighter, shorter-wave (more bluish) light.
Can blue light damage my child’s (or my) eyesight?
The effects of long-term exposure to blue light from screens are still being researched, but so far, there does not seem to be any evidence of eye damage. However, overexposure to blue light can cause eye strain, and during these days of remote learning, our children, and ourselves, are spending six-plus hours every day in front of screens. Additionally, there is evidence that blue light can adversely affect the body’s production of sleep-inducing melatonin. So, turn those screens off two-to-three hours before bed!
How do blue light glasses help?
These protective glasses do help block some of the blue light from screens and may reduce eye strain. Many users report decreased feelings of fatigue, dry eyes, and headaches. The glasses are readily available for prescription and inexpensive non-prescription glasses, but keep in mind, blue light glasses are not marketed as medical devices and have not been approved by the FDA.
Does my child need them?
One ophthalmologist I spoke to said that there is very little evidence that blue light glasses make a difference in the long term. The eye strain and fatigue that comes with too much screen time is likely due to the screen time itself and not the blue light. However, she said that people with very sensitive eyes could benefit.
How else can my child reduce eye strain and fatigue from screen time?
Bottom line? Blue light glasses may help, so why not? Your child may enjoy rocking some new funky eyewear!