Do Blue Light Glasses Really Do Anything For Your Eyes?

Technology is a blessing and a curse. Information is at your fingertips, we can connect with people from far away, and anyone can share their opinion for millions to see. On the other hand, bullies hide behind screens, many forgo real-life connections for a digital alternatives, and, well, anyone can share their opinion for millions to see. The list of pros and cons goes on and on. But a major disadvantage is technology's negative effect on your physical being when you're getting too much screen time.


A 2017 study published in Applied Ergonomics reported a link between texting on a cell phone and neck pain in young adults over a period of five years. In the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, a 2011 study associated increased time watching TV with a higher probability of being overweight. If staring at screens can influence behavior that worsens posture and weight, imagine what it can do to our eyes. Blue light glasses claim to tackle the damage the digital world can inflict on our pupils, but how effective are they really?

The limited advantages of blue light glasses

Staring at a computer all day can sometimes leave your eyes dry and irritated. You'll look away, but computer characters are imprinted on your retinas. Blue light glasses claim to ease the irritation caused by staring at computers, phones, and TVs. However, those claims seem to have no scientific backing. A 2017 study published in the Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics found blue light glasses had no effect on eye strain from digital screens. The same results were recorded in The American Journal of Ophthalmology from a 2021 research study. The strain our eyes face when using technology can come from bright screens, prolonged focus, or infrequent blinking, which blue light glasses can not combat.


Although science confirms spectacles aren't the solution to eye strain from digital screens, blue light glasses might be helpful in another avenue. A 2021 study cited in Chronobiology International found blue light glasses can help induce sleep. The glasses filter light that encourages the brain to produce melatonin, a key chemical that helps us fall asleep. So if you enjoy an eBook before bed or write in your online diary before hitting the hay, it won't cause any harm to wear blue light glasses then.

How to protect your eyes from harmful screens

If glasses won't do the trick, then what will keep your eyes healthy when you're staring at a screen all day? The solution involves mindful action on your part. Mayo Clinic suggests downtime during your online time. The 20-20-20 rule encourages you to take a break from your device every 20 minutes, for 20 seconds, by looking at anything (except another screen) 20 feet away. Reducing light around you can also help prevent eye irritation. Bright lights and glares force your eyes to strain, which can lead to greater injury.


The location of your device will make a difference too. Perhaps there is some truth about sitting too close to the TV rotting your brain. The American Optometric Association recommends computer screens be at least 20 inches away from your eyes. You might need to enlarge the text or zoom in to see from that distance, but it'll be better than developing computer vision syndrome. Because as helpful as blue light glasses seem to be, they simply don't have the power to defend against eye strain.