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Do Blue Light Glasses Help with Eye Strain?

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Suggested edit: "A woman with blue light reflected on her glasses from a screen."

Eye strain has emerged as a common issue in a world where many of our waking hours are spent staring at screens. While there are many ways to alleviate eye strain symptoms, one approach that is gaining popularity is using blue light glasses.

Blue light glasses can help reduce the effects of blue light that enters your eyes. However, they are not a cure-all solution for eye strain and should be combined with other healthy habits. 

Learning about the causes and symptoms of eye strain, what blue light is, its associated problems, and what blue light glasses can help address can help you make an informed decision about your eyewear.

Understanding Eye Strain and Its Causes

Eye strain is a common condition that can occur when our eyes become tired from staring at screens or performing tasks that require focus for extended periods of time.

The blue light emitted from digital screens has also been shown to disrupt our sleep patterns and cause digital eye strain.

Symptoms of Eye Strain

If you are experiencing eye strain, you might notice some common symptoms that indicate your eyes are tired, such as:

  • Dry eyes
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye fatigue

What Is Blue Light and What Are the Problems Associated with It?

Blue light is all around us, emitted primarily by the sun and artificial sources such as computer screens, smartphones, and TVs. While many cases of blue light exposure won’t cause serious problems, long-term overexposure could affect your health in subtle ways.

Artificial blue light created by screens can affect our bodies in ways we don’t necessarily like. Our natural sleep rhythms can be disrupted, causing issues such as insomnia, and our mood can be disrupted as a result of poor sleep associated with artificial blue light exposure.

Can Blue Light Glasses Help with Eye Strain?

Blue light glasses can be a safe potential solution for reducing eye strain, headaches, and disrupted sleep associated with artificial blue light exposure. 

It’s important to remember they are not a cure-all solution. While wearing blue light glasses can reduce the blue light rays that enter your eyes, you should also take other precautions to protect your eyes, like taking a break from screens and consulting your eye doctor if your eye strain persists. 

Using blue light glasses in combination with other healthy habits can help some people relieve eye discomfort and other health effects associated with screen use.

Tips to Prevent Eye Strain

You can take several measures to prevent eye strain and support your overall eye health. Remember, if your eye strain persists, we can help you get a clear diagnosis and proper treatment during a comprehensive eye exam.

Helpful strategies for reducing eye strain include the following:

  • Take regular breaks: Follow the 20-20-20 rule—take a break from staring at your screen every 20 minutes to reduce the risk of digital eye strain. Try to look away from your screen and focus on a distant object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
  • Adjust your screen brightness: Your screen’s brightness can impact your eyes. Adjust the brightness of your screen so it feels comfortable to read and view.
  • Try to blink more often: Computer screens can cause us to blink less, leading to dry eyes. Try to remember to blink to keep your eyes moist and reduce the risk of symptoms of digital eye strain and dry eyes.
  • Reposition your screen: Ideally, your screen should be positioned an arm’s length away, and the top of your monitor should be at your eye level.
  • Use blue light filters: Consider using blue light filters on your electronic devices to minimize the amount of blue light that enters your eyes. 
Suggested edit: "An optician helping a woman try on glasses in an optometrist's office."

Eye Strain Relief 

Blue light glasses can help reduce the effects of blue light, but to keep your eyes healthy, it’s important to also maintain good eye hygiene habits. That includes avoiding long hours spent in front of screens, taking regular breaks from digital devices, and occasionally looking away from your screens.

If you still suffer from symptoms like eye strain despite these habits, it’s time to speak to an experienced optometrist for further assistance.At Calgary Optometry Centre, we provide care that focuses on supporting your quality of life through clear vision and optimal eye health. Book an appointment today for treatments and advice that can help you get relief from eye strain.

Written by Dr. Kent Prete

An active member of the Canadian Association of Optometrists, the Alberta Association of Optometrists, and the Alberta College of Optometrists, Dr. Prete lives his passion every day when he sees his patients. Dr. Prete has spoken at over 100 professional events over the last almost 20 years. A keen educator and confident doctor, Dr. Prete is nearly as passionate about educating other eye care professionals as he is about caring for and educating his patients!
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