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If you are reading this, you are probably looking at the screen right now. Cell phones, computers, and televisions emit blue light, a type of light in the color spectrum that is believed to disrupt sleep-wake cycles and cause headaches . Whereas the blue light from the screens is not as harmful as the ultraviolet light from the sun. (hence the reason for a quality pair of UV protective sunglasses ), people turn to blue light blocking glasses to take preventive measures against its negative effects.
While there is no scientific evidence that blue-blocking glasses should be worn to improve macular health , there are many reviewers online who are enthusiastic about their positive impact on personal experience. So if you can't sleep at night or have regular headaches after work, you can simply try a pair of blue-blocking glasses before taking your medication. And when buying a pair, you should look for an option that offers many benefits or is suitable for the environment in which you find yourself.
For example, if you regularly work both indoors and outdoors, it is also important to consider UV exposure.
"You need to make sure your blue-blocking glasses are UV-protected to protect you from harmful sunlight," advises Brad Brockwell , optometrist and vice president of clinical operations for Now Optics.
We've researched dozens of blue-blocking glasses and rated them on reviews, design, fit, pricing, optional accessories, and blue-light absorption levels. Each of the glasses selected in this article was rated the best of these factors. We also conducted a comprehensive review of Felix's gray Turing blue light blocking glasses .
Here are the best blue light blocking glasses on the market for any type of user.
If you are wary of the concept of blue light glasses and are looking for the first pair that won't break the bank, the Gamma Ray Blue Light Blocking Glasses ( see on Amazon ) are a great place to start. But if style is your top priority, you'll love the look of the Felix Gray Turing glasses (see Felix Gray ).
Just remember that your body relies on blue light sources during the day to regulate your circadian rhythm. so don't wear blue light blocking glasses for too long during the day (or generally if you opt for darker glasses). If you only need to relieve eye strain from time to time or work on a job that requires you to see the full spectrum of colors, you should choose lenses that block transparent blue light; If you need a more intense blue light block, for example to help you sleep better at night or to treat photosensitive conditions, you should opt for yellow or in some cases red lenses.
What to look for with blue light blocking glasses
If you're already wearing prescription glasses, you can still use blue-light blocking technology, but sadly not without investing in a new pair of specs. Blue light filters cannot be added to lenses after they are made, according to Vanessa Hernandez , an optometrist at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary at Mount Sinai in New York.
If you don't wear glasses all the time, you may be able to buy glasses that block blue light to help you at certain times of the day (when you're not wearing prescription glasses). But if you want the extra blue-light blocking capabilities and don't plan on buying a new pair of glasses, you'll have to try a different product.
"There are mounting options available [lenses that block blue light], but they don't fit every shot," says Hernandez. "There are filters that you can plug into computer monitors for daytime use, or [you can] tweak your device settings to get a warmer background instead of a bright white background, especially when using devices at night or at night. a dark room. "
As with any pair of glasses, be they prescription bifocals or trendy sunglasses, comfort is important when choosing the right pair. If your glasses are uncomfortable on your face, you will begin to find a reason not to wear them, completely losing the sense of wearing them. Also, inappropriate glasses can cause an earache, nose, and even a headache, so you need to make sure they fit properly.
- Glasses should fit snugly against the face, neither too tight nor too loose. You should be able to turn your head from side to side so that it doesn't fall and put pressure on your ears or nose.
- Glasses should not constantly slide over your nose, especially when looking down, and should not touch your forehead, cheeks, or the sides of your face (near the temples).
- You may notice a mild headache in the first few days of wearing your new prescription glasses, but it should not persist or be severe. If you continue to experience headaches, notice that your vision looks blurry or feels unstable, like you're dizzy , while wearing glasses, there may be something wrong with your prescription.
Any new pair of glasses will require a short period of preparation, but ideally you should learn how to put your glasses on and forget they are there even after a few days of regular wear. If not, check with your doctor.
If you are considering a pair of blue light glasses, you can make sure that the lenses are also anti-reflective or anti-reflective; otherwise, your headaches or digital eyestrain may persist.
"Anti-reflective properties reduce glare and reflections from the lens surface, which is beneficial when using a computer or mobile device," says Dr. Brockwell.
Many prescription lenses come with an anti-reflective coating option , but if you've never worn glasses before, you may not realize how important this feature is, especially if you're constantly staring at a bright screen all day. (Without coating, your screens can cast distracting reflections from the surface of your lenses, often obstructing your view.)
Day or night use
It is recommended to wear different blue light blocking lenses at different times of the day. "Artificial blue light can digitally strain your eyes and affect your sleep cycle," explains Dr. Hernández. Since your body still needs to be exposed to blue light during the day to maintain its circadian rhythm, For day wear, clear or yellow lenses are best, according to Dr. Hernandez.
On the other hand, if you are battling insomnia or using your laptop or smartphone late at night, you may want to opt for darker glasses. Red lenses actually block 100% of blue light along with almost all green and violet light, which means they block all types of light that can interfere with your sleep cycle and can help you fall asleep faster. Yes
Use them a few hours before bedtime.
The sun is a powerful and necessary part of our environment, but it can also cause harm if we are exposed too long or too often without protection. "Just as you will never spend a day at the beach without SPF, you shouldn't spend a lot of time outdoors without protecting your delicate eyesight," explains Dr. Brockwell.
If you only plan to wear your glasses indoors, on your computer, this is an optional feature, but it should not be overlooked if you buy sunglasses that block blue light or add blue light blocking technology to your glasses. eyeglasses.
Frequently asked questions
You can, although on the street they may not seem so comfortable (especially if the lenses are transparent). Some users report glare or reflections when it's sunny outside.
It is also important to remember that your body needs some blue light to function properly; It's when you get too much from "unnatural" sources like digital displays that you get in trouble. Sometimes it is advisable to take a break from blue light glasses, even when you go outside, and this is especially true if you wear blue light blocking lenses with a darker shade, such as orange (which blocks more blue light than clear lenses). .
Lenses that block blue light are either coated with a tinted film or made with tinted layers embedded in the frame; These layers are usually tinted yellow, which allows the lens to filter out some of the blue light emitted by digital displays.
All blue light blocking lenses are made with different shades of yellow and filter a different percentage of blue light. Be sure to review the features and specifications of the glasses you plan to buy to suit your needs.
Not on their own – you should opt for the blue light blocking option built into your prescription lenses. Many retailers and online stores offer this, but it doesn't happen automatically … and usually at an additional cost.
What the experts say
'[Glasses that block blue light] come in a variety of shades, from clear to amber, with clear, which blocks the least amount, and amber, which blocks most of the blue light. It is not necessary to block out all blue light and the degree of tint is up to individual preference. " – Vanessa Hernandez , optometrist at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary in Mount Sinai, New York.
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Sarah Bradley has been writing health stories since 2017, from food reviews and disease FAQs to nutritional clarifications and meals on diet trends. She knows how important it is to get trusted, expert-approved advice on over-the-counter products that can help you cope with everyday illnesses, from gastrointestinal problems and allergies to chronic headaches and joint pain.