Can blue light blocking glasses damage your eyes?

Blue light blocking glasses or computer glasses are glasses that either block or filter blue light from reaching your eyes. Blue light blocking glasses with a red or orange lens are used after sunset to block all blue light and most green light in order to help you sleep better. Computer glasses which are clear in appearance are only for use during the daytime when under artificial blue light. These computer glasses filter down blue light they do not block it.

 

The dangers of blue light after dark

 

Blue light sends messages to our brains that tell our body clock what time of day it is. Blue light tells our brains that it is daytime and to be alert and awake. Therefore, it is a bad idea to see blue light after sunset as we need to send the correct message to our brains to tell us night-time is approaching and to get ready to sleep. Blue light is not naturally present after sunset so by switching on our TVs, turning on our house lights or even opening our fridge is telling our brain it is daytime and we don’t need to sleep. This is why we wear red lens blue light glasses after sunset as they block 100% of blue light and green light that tells our brains that its daytime. It’s important to make sure your blue light blocking glasses block 100% of light between 400-550nm, or they won’t work well and mixed messages will still be sent to your brain about what time of day it is.

 

Blue light during the day

 

Blue light during the day is essential for wellbeing and energy levels. Blue light during the day will help increase dopamine, serotonin and cortisol, which are all needed during the day for overall wellbeing. However, we get too much blue light during the day from all the little artificial suns we have brought into our lives, from your smart phone, laptop, office lights and TVs. This overload of blue light will damage your eyes if you are around it for too long. Ancestrally speaking we would have been in the sun all day and then after sunset we would have had no blue light meaning our eyes could repair themselves. These days we are exposed to blue light 24/7 so our eyes cannot recover.

 

Can blue light blocking glasses damage your eyes? Part 1

 

Blue light is high energy light which, when exposed to in large doses, can cause damage to the cells in our eyes and skin, thinking digital eyestrain and dry skin after using a laptop all day. There are two ways in which one can protect and prevent this damage. The first is to be outside, away from artificial light all the time. This works as the sun also gives off a lot of red light which is restorative and protects against the damage caused by blue light. This is not always practical for many so the second way to stop eye damage from isolated and intense blue light from artificial sources, is to wear computer glasses during the day and blue light blocking glasses after sunset.

 

Can blue light blocking glasses damage your eyes is really the wrong question to ask as it is blue light that damages your eyes when in excess. Therefore, using the correct blue light filtering glasses at the correct time of day can actually help protect against the damage of blue light.

 

Can blue light blocking glasses damage your eyes? Part 2 #context

 

Blue light glasses can damage your eyes, but only if you filter and block light incorrectly. For example, if you wear orange or red lenses during the daytime you will impair the eye’s ability to use the rod and cone system correctly. Over time this may damage the eye's biological system and lead to eye related diseases. Remember that blue light is essential during the day and we should not block all of it during the day, just filter down about 30% of it.

 

Can blue light blocking glasses damage your eyes should have context applied to it as if you wear clear computer glasses post sunset you will be still exposing your eyes to excessive blue light. After sunset the eye should receive no blue light so if your lenses are clear, like many computer glasses are, you should not be wearing them after dark.

 

Light needs fluctuate throughout our circadian day and to stop blue light blocking glasses from damaging your eyes you should wear a clear or yellow lens during the day when indoors and a red or orange lens after sunset. If your wear the correct blue light glasses at the correct time of day you will not damage your eyes by wearing them, but instead protect them from the dangers of blue light.

 

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4 thoughts on “Can blue light blocking glasses damage your eyes?

  1. avatar Kat says:

    This is a worry for me as I have to wear orange lenses for a total of one hour a day when driving. I have photosensitivity from an autoimmune condition and it makes the daytime running lights of cars coming towards me hurt my eyes. But this means I’m wearing orange lenses at the wrong time. Yellow don’t help enough.

  2. avatar Savio Rodrigues says:

    So if the only lenses I have are the clear computer ones, I would still be better off wearing them after sunset to at least filter blue light than wearing no lenses at all?

  3. avatar Jonna says:

    So what is the difference between clear, yellow an orange lenses, and when should they be used?

  4. avatar Shannon says:

    I work in an office from 7am to 4pm with lots of those horrible LED lights and I wear your yellow glasses during the day, then put the red glasses on at night from about 7pm. Is that blocking too much light? Should I go without my yellow glasses in the morning?

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