Yes, wearing blue light glasses can damage your eyes, but only if you filter and block blue light at the wrong times of the day.
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.
We explain this nuance you need to know below.
The Dangers of Blue Light Exposure 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 that 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.
Why Natural Blue Light During the Day is Essential
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 well being. However, we get too much blue light during the day from all the little artificial suns we have brought into our lives, from your smartphone, 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.
Why What Time of Day It Is Matters
Do blue light blocking glasses damage your eyes is really the wrong question to ask, as it is blue light that damages your eyes when exposed in excess.
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 eye strain and dry skin after using a laptop all day.
Therefore, using the correct blue light filtering glasses at the correct time of day can actually help protect against the damage of blue light.
Ways to Protect Your Eyes From Excess Blue Light
There are two ways in which one can protect and prevent this damage.
The first way 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.
The second way is for when it is not always practical for many to go outside. The 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.
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.
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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