Reviewed by: Dr. Matthew Miller, OD on August 12th, 2020
It’s rare these days to find someone who isn’t aware of or already in possession of blue light blocking glasses. While it’s super common to see people walking around, rocking a pair of slightly yellow-tinted specks, many haven’t paused to ask “do blue light glasses work?”
So, do they? And if so, how effective are they? The effectiveness of blue light glasses depends on the type of lenses and the individual wearing them, which leaves room for a host of varying opinions.
Below, we explain how much blue light is actually blocked by a blue-light-blocking lens, and discuss the most effective ways to protect your eyes from blue light.
How much blue light do blue light glasses block?
The percentage of blue light blocked from a pair of blue light blocking glasses varies from lens to lens. Clear lenses with a blue light coating can block between 5% and 40% of the blue light spectrum that can affect your eyes.
If you want to block more blue light, the lenses of your glasses will likely require a yellow or amber tint. These tinted lenses, commonly associated with computer glasses, can block up to 65% of blue light, but the ability to wear them when you aren’t in front of a screen is limited.
Wearing color-tinted lenses for long periods of time have shown to affect color perception in some individuals. While this is rare, if you already have issues deciphering colors or experience color blindness, you may want to settle for the limitations of the clear lens.
Are blue light blocking glasses effective?
With all the hype around blue light glasses, it’s easy to click “add to cart” before doing your research — namely, to find out how effective blue light glasses really are.
When making any purchase, it’s wise to establish practical expectations for how the product will deliver. If you believe blue light glasses are going to drastically change your life, you’re likely setting your expectations too high.
To be fair, there are many individuals who say blue light glasses have made their screen viewing more comfortable and given them a better night’s sleep. While these are valid, credible experiences, there are also consumers who claim that blue light glasses have zero effect on them.
To put it simply, blue light lenses are too recent a product to have definitive research on whether they should offer a universal benefit to consumers. Everybody is different and we all experience different sensitivities and tolerance levels, so it’s a fair assessment to say that the effectiveness of blue light glasses varies.
Luckily, adding blue light coating to your lenses is relatively inexpensive (a $19 add-on during the checkout process), which makes trying them out an easy investment. Additionally, blue light glasses will not hurt or have negative effects on your vision, whether they help you or not. So, while it’s possible that blue light lenses won’t change your life, they won’t ruin it either.
SEE RELATED: How do I know if I need blue light glasses?
Blue light lenses vs. sunglasses
The effectiveness of blue light glasses may be subjective, but there is no doubt that a quality pair of shades is an absolute must. Eye care professionals have explained that while we are focused on the blue light emitted from our screens, we’re ignoring the real threat in the sky: the sun.
While digital screen blue light can be harmful to our eyes, the amount emitted from our smartphones pales in comparison to the exposure we get from the sun.
To give some perspective, you could gaze at your computer screen for two hours with no protective eyewear and then step outside on a sunny day without sunglasses. Within a minute of being in the sun without protection, your eyes will have received the same amount of blue light exposure as staring at your screen for two hours.Moral of the story? Blue light glasses are beneficial, but sunglasses are essential for eye and vision health. Don’t feel the stress of having to choose between the two: our discounts on eyeglasses and sunglasses make it easy for you to satisfy every one of your eye needs.