by MARY WURZBACHER '23
I’m sure you’ve seen TikTokers or even some of your own friends wearing blue light blocking glasses, but are they really effective? Yes and no. They do block blue light, but you don’t actually need them to prevent eye damage, pain, redness, or headaches.
Blue light is a high energy frequency emitted by the sun, LED lights, and digital screens. An article published by the AAO (American Academy of Ophthalmology) stated that “there is no scientific evidence that blue light from digital devices causes damage to your eyes.” In addition, irritations from looking at a digital monitor for an extended period are only temporary and will not cause long-term damage.
Actually, a lack of blinking is what causes redness, dryness, and sore eyes. According to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, one blinks 66% less when looking at a screen. While blue light on its own doesn’t harm your eyes, it can interfere with your circadian rhythm. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, your circadian rhythm is what tells you when to wake up and when to go to bed, almost like an internal clock. Blue light suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates your sleep cycle, making it difficult to fall and stay asleep, reports Harvard Medical School. These adverse effects can be easily avoided, though.
Here are some different ways to keep yourself comfortable while looking at a screen:
Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look at an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Taking a 10 minute screen break after one hour of usage. This does not mean that you should take a break from your laptop only to go look at your phone in its place. That will help nothing!
Place your laptop screen about 25 inches away from your face and look slightly downward at it.
Try to avoid a glare in your screen or your eyes by adjusting blinds or your position.
Finally, just blink more! Make a conscious effort to blink more and keep your eyes from dryness and protect yourself from headaches.
Overall, blue light glasses can protect you from blue light, but they offer protection that can be obtained without them. While blue light glasses are one way to make excessive screen time more bearable, they are not a necessity.