Are Blue Light Blocking Glasses Necessary?
The average Canadian spends between 5-7 hours a day staring at screens. According to the Canadian Association of Optometrists, we blink an average of 12 times per minute but when we’re in front of the computer, we only blink 5 times per minute. This can lead to headaches, eye strain, blurred vision, dryness, and/or itchiness. Although the use of eye drops and gels can help to alleviate eye irritation, blue light blocking glasses may also be an option.
Blue light can be found everywhere from LED lighting to the fluorescent lights in your office and even in sunlight. At night, blue light exposure mainly comes from our televisions, phones, tablets, or laptops. By staring at our screens before bed, this can often lead to sleep issues as blue light affects the body’s circadian rhythm (natural wake and sleep cycle). Although there are no correlations between device screens and blindness, it is recommended to keep usage under 3 hours before bed.
Using blue light blocking glasses can be helpful but they are not guaranteed to protect your eyes from permanent damage. What they can do, however, is possibly help you sleep. A selective study done by The Journal of Biological and Medical Rhythm Research found that users who wore blue light blocking glasses slept significantly better and showed improvements in their overall mood though results were subjective.
As studies continue, the best solution still remains in limiting screen time before bed. If you must use your devices, follow these helpful tips to reduce eye strain:
- Sit an arm’s length (roughly 25 inches) away from the computer screen.
- Take breaks whenever you can using the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes let your eyes rest and focus on an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- If your eyes feel dry or irritated, use eye drops.
- Reduce the brightness and contrast of your screen.
- If you wear contacts and are on the computer for a prolonged amount of time, give your eyes a rest and wear glasses if you can.
To book an appointment for an eye exam or to learn more about blue blocking glasses, contact Sun Valley Optometry in Kelowna at (250) 979-2090 or online. We’re conveniently located at Orchard Park Mall near Pearle Vision.