Computer glasses, or eyeglasses that filter blue light from computers, smartphones, and other mobile devices, are becoming increasingly popular nowadays. Promotional ads for these glasses claim prolonged exposure to blue light can lead to a number of health and eye-related problems such as dry eyes, digital eye strain, macular degeneration, and disruption of the sleep cycle.
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What is Blue Light and How Can Computer Glasses Help?
The name blue light sounds pretty innocent enough, but it can actually do a lot of harm for our health if we don’t use some kind of blue light blocker whenever we use our gadgets and mobile devices.
Blue light, also known as High Energy Visible (HEV) light, is the light on the lowest end of the visible spectrum of light. It has shorter wavelengths and emits more energy. This is the kind of light that gets filtered out by blue light computer glasses.
We are all aware or have been told of how dangerous prolonged exposure to the sun is. We can get blue light exposure from the bright light on sunny days. But, even if we stay indoors all the time, we can still fall prey to blue light exposure from watching TV or playing video games. Blue light from our computers, smartphones, TVs, and artificial lighting expose us to “unnatural” blue light. While our gadgets emit only a small fraction of the HEV light emitted from the sun, consider how long we spend using them, how long we stay exposed to them, and we can have a pretty good idea of how badly it can affect our health.
Now the question is: should we worry about blue light exposure?
The short answer is YES.
Like most things, blue light does offer some benefits. We can compare it to nutrients we need in our body like salt. Salt is important and plays a crucial role in maintaining the body’s nerves and fluid levels. However, our modern diet has overexposed us to it enough to make it harmful. There are some benefits to blue light exposure. But our modern world has overexposed us to it to the point of making it detrimental to our health. Fortunately, there are computer glasses that help reduce the harmful effects of overexposure to blue light.
Why You Need Computer Glasses or Blue Light Glasses
Below are some of the most common reasons why people use computer glasses. If you have any of these, then you know it’s time for you to buy your own blue light glasses.
1. Dry and Sore Eyes
People who spend hours on the computer often complain of having dry and sore eyes. This is one of the most common symptoms of digital eye strain and Computer Vision Syndrom (CVS). This happens when one is exposed to excessive amounts of blue light from the screens and gadgets he or she uses.
Computer glasses filter out about 50% or more of all blue light we’re exposed to, eventually reducing eye soreness while still exposing your eyes to a healthy amount of light.
2. Insomnia or Poor Sleep
Whether we like to admit it or not most of us are guilty of hopping into bed, getting ready to sleep but opening our phones to check Facebook, Instagram or Youtube. Perhaps you told yourself “I’ll watch one more video, one last time.” Only the problem is, it’s not one last time. You end up checking random websites and pages for hours until you end up losing sleep.
The harsh blue light your eyes are exposed to actually has a huge impact on your “circadian rhythm” or our natural, internal process that regulates the body’s sleep-wake cycle, and repeats it every 24 hours. Your brain registers the blue light as sunlight and hereby alerting your circadian rhythm that it’s morning and you must stay awake.
You could compare this experience to having a nap with the lights on and lights off. Darkness stimulates sleep, while light keeps you awake. Therefore, if you want to keep a more consistent sleeping pattern, keep your room dark and turn off the light. Put away your phone and go to sleep.
Nothing is worse than going to work on a Monday with a head-splitting headache. You might be wondering if it’s caused by too much stress or work, but the culprit might just be the innocent-sounding blue light.
Blue light is often pointed out as the cause of common headaches. While dry, sore eyes and poor sleeping patterns can cause the worst headaches and migraines, it doesn’t change the fact that blue light is one of the major reasons for it too. One small thing can trigger a chain reaction of negative symptoms on our body.
What Do Blue Light Blocking Glasses Do?
If you take a look around your office, or home, you are most likely to see a computer or mobile gadget everywhere you look. It’s hardly any surprise that in our world today, our lives have become dependent on our devices—phones, computers, tablets and more.
In fact, you’re reading this on a digital device right now, right?
If you’re the type who spends long hours on their computer or digital devices, you might have noticed that your eyes become strained and irritated throughout the day. If you experience that, then you probably suffer from Computer Vision Syndrome or CVS. CVS is the result of prolonged hours of staring at a computer screen without proper eye protection.
Some of the common symptoms associated with CVS include redness in the eyes, back or neck strain, blurred vision, double vision, dry eyes, and dizziness.
What you can do to protect your eyes and avoid eyestrain is to invest in a good pair of computer glasses.
Protect Your Eyes with Computer Glasses
People mostly wear glasses to correct some problem with their vision. They could be near-sighted, or far-sighted or something else. You will notice that when you wear glasses, you are usually prescribed a specific type of glasses for the kind of vision impairment you have. Not all glasses are right for all situations.
Computer glasses are different from regular glasses because they are specifically made for one reason: to help reduce eyestrain due to computers and electronic gadgets.
The average person spends roughly 8 hours a day at work. We can safely assume that one would spend the majority of his or her working hours in front of a computer. Spending long hours staring in front of a computer makes us susceptible to vision-related problems. Unfortunately, most of us are simply accustomed to the idea that our eyes just feel tired, dry, and irritated at the end of the day.
Computer glasses are equipped with anti-reflective coating that helps reduce the glare bouncing off computer screens and light coming from mobile devices. Another function that helps increase screen contrast without harming your eyes is its glass color tinting.
Lens Type for Computer Glasses
The average computer is positioned with at least 20-26 inches distance from the user’s eyes. This is already considered the intermediate zone. However, not everyone’s eyes react the same in each zone.
Computer glasses can be offered in several different types of lenses. They are as follows:
- Single Vision Lenses – this helps to reduce the risk of eyestrain, bad posture, and blurred vision. Single vision lenses are ideal for any age group.
- Occupational bifocal and trifocal lenses – these lenses offer a higher zone for intermediate and near-vision instead of just regular bifocal and trifocal lenses. You can position the intermediate and near vision zones to accommodate your computer needs.
- Occupational Progressive Lenses – these lenses are multifocal and remedies near, intermediate, and distance vision. Occupational progressive lenses provide you with a wider, larger, and more comfortable vision at the computer. But, this is not good for longer-distance tasks.
How Computer Glasses Work
Computer glasses are meant to optimize one’s eyesight when looking at digital screens. They’re designed to increase contrast, reduce glare, and maximize your eyesight, allowing you to look at a computer screen for longer periods of time.
Below are two of the main features computer glasses come with:
Anti Reflective Coating
As we have explained earlier, an anti-reflective coating is applied to computer glasses to help reduce the glare bouncing off screens and other light sources. There are specially designed computer and gaming glasses and prescription glasses that can get anti-reflective coating too. However, it’s important to remember that not all anti-reflective coatings are the same. Some glasses have a cheap coating that will constantly get smudged and dirty, making your eyestrain worse and causing even more vision problems as a result. Computer glasses with a newer and more advanced coating will not give you such problems.
Experts agree that when it comes to anti-reflective coating, you have two choices: old and new. Older coatings do tend to peel off and crack, while newer coatings wear very well and are often covered with a one-year warranty. So if you’re getting your eyes checked, you might want to tell your eye doctor to get your computer glasses with the latest coating.
To further understand the differences between anti-reflective coatings, you need to know that some lenses are just dipped on cheap coatings that can easily scatch and peel off. Some coatings are “baked” on the lens, and some are “ionized” onto the lens matrix during the lens production.
Besides anti-reflective coating, a lot of computer glasses also have colored tints which are aimed at increasing the screen’s contrast and filtering out harsh light spectrums to help your eye muscles relax. If tinted glasses are your thing, then you can ask your doctor to prescribe some or have one applied to your computer glasses.
Are Computer Glasses Effective?
Are computer glasses worth your money? Whether they work for you or not is subjective, because there are several factors that influence its efficiency: visual abilities, environmental conditions, computer usage, and viewing habits.
But here’s a few things you need to keep in mind before you decide to use computer glasses:
Don’t Use Them If You Don’t Have Eye Problems
If you don’t have or are not experiencing any vision or eye-related problems, you can simply stop right there. Specially-coated or tinted computer eyeglasses won’t have any effect on you, besides making you look geekier. They would only be a hindrance.
According to experts, computer eyewear does nothing to prevent eyestrain in optimized environments. Furthermore, even without any corrective eyewear, the range that our eyes can sweep from side-to-side is already maximized. You won’t benefit from wearing glasses if there’s nothing wrong with your eyesight; the glasses will only interfere with your vision. As the saying goes, “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it!”
If You Have Eyestrain, You Must really Need Them
A lot of people who experience digital eyestrain simply disregard it. They brush it off as something they can fix in a few minutes or days. According to doctors, people get so used to feeling tired at the end of the day that they dismiss eyestrain as something so normal. But, just because it’s normal doesn’t make it right, right? Consult your eye doctor and get help to get your eyes feeling better than ever!
Eyeglasses with newer anti-reflective coating guarantee that your vision remains clear by preventing fingerprints, dust, and the like from appearing on your lenses. Furthermore, newer computer glasses make it easier for you to focus on your computer screen because they help increase contrast.
To cap it all off, there shouldn’t be any doubt about whether you should get computer glasses or not. If you feel your eyes are feeling strained and in pain at the end of the day, don’t ignore it. Go to your eye doctor right away. You’ll be able to tell the difference between wearing blue light blocking computer glasses and not using anything. The level of eye comfort you get from wearing protective eyewear will be life-changing! Go ahead and give it a try today!
Featured image source: Freepik