Do Blue Light Glasses Really Work?
Blue light glasses, explained. Plus, where you can buy them.
(SPOT.ph) Picture this: It's 10 p.m. and you're all cozy wrapped up in blankets, wearing the comfiest jammies, skincare routine done, teeth brushed. You're tired from a day's work and pretty much ready to sleep until your alarm goes off and it's back to being a corporate slave—but wait. You decide to scroll through Instagram for a bit before bed. Maybe you'll check a few e-mails you might have missed while you're at it. Gotta quickly skim through Facebook and Twitter, too—don't want to miss any big news stories. And maybe you'll squeeze in a couple of YouTube or TikTok videos just to unwind. You check the time again and suddenly it's four in the morning—where the heck did the time go and why are you still wide awake? More importantly, how can you manage to spend this much time staring at your phone when you already spend all day in front of a computer?
There's a lot to unpack here, but the big factor in the equation are your eyes. If you spend an excessive, even unhealthy amount of time looking at a digital screen (and these days, who doesn't?), you may have friends, parents, or coworkers recommending that you try out blue light glasses. But what the heck are they, how do they work, and what would you get out of using them? Well, keep reading.
Here's everything you need to know about blue light glasses:
What Is Blue Light?
Blue light, as its name suggests, is light with blue wavelengths. It’s part of the visible light spectrum, meaning the human eye can see it. Though the sun is its most significant source, it also radiates from fluorescent lights, LED screens, smartphones, televisions, computer monitors, and other gadgets. Now, while your parents have probably sent you some concerning chain messages about exposing yourself to it, blue light isn’t all bad.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, blue light can boost alertness, attention, and mood, making it beneficial to us during daylight hours. That’s part of why getting some vitamin D can quickly make you feel more alert and energized. In fact, humans need blue light at certain hours of the day for that specific reason. However, it can be harmful in excess and at night. "Light at night is part of the reason so many people don't get enough sleep," says Harvard's Stephen Lockey. Due to our constant use of technology, we’re almost always exposed to blue light that suppresses our body's production of melatonin—the hormone responsible for regulating our natural sleeping patterns. In case you were wondering why it's so easy to stay focused on your phone until the wee hours of the morning without feeling even a little sleepy, well, now you know.
For most of human history, folks spent the hours after sundown in relative or total darkness, making it easier—even effortless—to get some shut-eye once the busy part of the day is over. But now we’re constantly exposed to light that forces us to stay awake, thus disrupting our sleeping pattern and circadian rhythm. While there's a case to be made for limiting screen time before bed, it's not exactly an easy habit to break and for some, would even be considered a necessity whether for communication, post-work unwinding, or what have you. With that in mind, you may be considering investing in blue light glasses to protect your eyes and help regulate your sleep schedule.
What Are Blue Light Glasses?
Blue light glasses are frames built with lenses that are specifically crafted to block or absorb the blue light that digital screens emit, reducing your eyes’ exposure to blue light and protecting your retinas from the potential damage that comes with excessive exposure like eye strain or dryness. Whether or not you actually need glasses to correct your vision, you can make use of blue light glasses.
Where to Buy Blue Light Glasses
While some optical shops offer frames with built-in blue light protection, you can also opt to have your current glasses installed with lenses that block out blue light—just in case you don't want to replace your beloved old specs or you want to choose a specific design. Vision Express, for example, offers three kinds of blue light-blocking lenses: the Blue Safe Lite (P990), which offers basic digital blue light protection, the Blue Safe Lutina Lenses (P2,000), which is 30% thinner than the Lite version and has anti-radiation digital blue light protection, or the Blue Safe Lutina Ultra Strength (P4,000) which have a 1.67 index with anti-radiation digital blue light protection and offer the highest protection of High Energy Violet Lights to preserve ocular health. The Ultra Strength variation is also scratch-resistant and shatter-proof.
While eyeglasses—blue light or otherwise—primarily serve a utilitarian function, we suggest taking the time to choose a pair that works best for both your face shape and personal preferences. Below, we list some of the chic styles Vision Express offers, each of which you can get equipped with the aforementioned blue light lenses.
Prada VPR19SF Eyeglasses (P23,990)
You can’t go wrong with a classic style! These Prada eyeglasses sport a vintage-inspired frame shape finished off in a brown shade. Though rounded underneath, the specs feature a Wayfarer-like detail up top that keeps them from looking too aggressively, er, Harry Potter-like. The result is a timeless design that would look good on most face shapes.
Ray-Ban Highstreet Eyeglasses (P15,990)
If you prefer slim rims and an overall lightweight build, check out these ultra-sleek Rayban specs. The rounded rectangle silhoutte exudes polished and book-smart, but not overly uptight. Plus, the copper frame would look as elegant as gold jewelry!
Tom Ford FT5618B072 Eyeglasses (P21,990)
When you think of thick-rimmed glasses, you probably picture those dark (often black), almost cartoony specs—think Zooey Deschanel in New Girl or Taylor Swift in her 1989 era. These eyeglasses from Tom Ford prove the style doesn’t need to be overly (excuse the pun) eye-catching or costume-like. The transparent pink frame gives the rim an elegant, dainty touch that would flatter the face without hiding all your best features.
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