Is Blue Light Bad for your Eyes?

Blue light is just above the UV light with high energy wavelength

As a doctor, the last thing I say to my patients is, “Are there any more questions you have for me before we finish?”

I see them pause, then ask the question they’ve been pondering… “Is blue light really that bad for my eyes? Do I need to buy the glasses that pop up on my facebook ads?”

I once thought the same thing too! Advertising almost got me—but then I used my scientific knowledge and thought about it for myself. Blue light has been there for ages, and no one is blind from it.

Let’s dive into some science (my favorite!!!!) with the help of the American Optometric Association, allow me to enlighten you.  Concerns about the amount of time we spend in front of screens a few feet from our eyes have fueled the market for the blue light blocking lenses.  Blue light is high energy wavelength near the invisible (ultraviolet) part of the light spectrum.  Most of us know that UV light is dangerous to our skin, and we go to great lengths to wear sunscreen and sunglasses.

How do you protect your eyes?

Wearing sunglasses is still the BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR EYES!  Blue light blocking glasses indoors are not without purpose, however.

  1. Blue light filter glasses are useful for cutting all incoming light by 10-15%, so everything has a warmer color hue, with less glare. I often recommend  Crizal Prevencia UV coating put on glasses for patients who are generally light sensitive or are prone to headaches or seizures.
  2. Blue light coatings on your glasses along with Anti-Reflective properties are great for blocking blue light and keeping the sleep/wake cycles normal. Too much blue light tells our brain to stay awake, so especially in the evenings, blue light protection can help us feel sleepy at the right time.

All that science being said—If you aren’t prone to light sensitivity or headaches, and if you don’t sit at a computer for your job, I wouldn’t recommend blue light filters for your glasses. Especially not the zero prescription kind you get off the internet. They’re cute! But not medically necessary. More UV blue light is in the actual sunshine than your computer screen.

Tell me what you think…have you bought them and felt better in some way?