- Exposure to blue light during the day helps regulate our internal body clock and sleep cycles
- Natural blue light helps our bodies regulate mood and cognitive function, so blocking it could disrupt mood regulation
- Blocking blue light also blocks the health benefits of natural blue light, such as promoting vitamin D synthesis
- Wearing blue light blocking glasses when not exposed to blue light can cause color distortion
- Blocking blue light during tasks like studying or working could reduce productivity and overall performance
Blue light blocking glasses are very popular products as of late. Brands advertise them as a way to protect our eyes from the potential negative effects of artificial blue light. You can purchase a pair independently, or even add them to your existing eyeglasses prescription. However, there’s another perspective to consider here. What if we should be taking off blue light glasses instead of putting them on? Let’s delve into five scientific reasons why you might want to avoid blue light blocking glasses.
5 Must-Know Facts About Blue Light Blocking Glasses
- Over time, our eyes have evolved to filter and adapt to different light conditions. For this reason, blocking blue light entirely may interfere with our body’s natural processes. Only use blue light blocking glasses based on doctor’s orders.
- Blue light from electronic devices is just one component of our exposure to the wavelength. Other factors include the duration and intensity of light exposure, the distance from the light source, and our individual sensitivity to the light.
- People with insomnia use blue light exposure as a therapeutic treatment. This so-called blue light therapy helps reset the body’s natural rhythm. It’s a proven method to improve a person’s quality of sleep.
- Claims that blue light blocking glasses improve melatonin production and enhance sleep quality may be somewhat overstated. Our screen time habits, room lighting, and overall sleep hygiene likely play more significant roles than levels of blue light exposure.
- Instead of purchasing blue light glasses, you might be better off adjusting your screen settings, taking regular breaks from electronic devices, and practicing good sleep habits. Try these methods before investing in a pair of blue light blockers.
The History of Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Blue light blocking glasses have become an increasingly popular product in recent years. They originated as a response to our widespread use of electronic devices. Specifically, they address concerns about the potential impact bright screens might our health. But, these concerns might not be rooted in 100% fact. The natural color spectrum is made up of all sorts of different lights with various wavelengths and energies. Specifically, blue light has a short wavelength and high energy.
Scientists have known about blue light since the late 19th century. It was first recognized as a part of natural daylight from the sun. As we know, the sun has all sorts of benefits for our health and well-being. Blue light plays a vital role in this fact. We now have a new source of blue light in our lives: smartphones, computers, LED lights, and so on. Scientists know natural blue light is beneficial to our brains and bodies. But, their research suggests that artificial blue light might have the opposite effect.
To address these concerns, scientists developed blue light blocking glasses. Specifically, these glasses filter out the amount of blue light that reaches our eyes. Typically, these glasses have lenses that contain a special coating or material that blocks blue wavelengths. Think of them like sunglasses but for blue rays instead of ultraviolet rays. The supposed list of benefits of blue light blocking glasses includes alleviated eye strain, reduced digital eye fatigue, and fewer sleep disturbances from excessive light exposure.
Why Avoid Blue Light Blocking Glasses?
It’s important to note that scientific research on the long-term effects of blue light is still evolving. Not to mention, the actual effectiveness of blue light blocking glasses is still up for debate. For every scientist that believes you should block blue light, there’s a scientist on the other side of the argument who claims it does more harm than good. By blocking out the claims of bad artificial light, we risk blocking out the good in research-backed natural light. As a result, here’s why you might want to avoid blue light blocking glasses.
People use blue light blocking glasses to reduce their exposure to blue light from electronic devices. However, some studies suggest that exposure to blue light during the day helps regulate our internal body clock. The brain’s 24-hour circadian rhythm regulates our sleep cycles based on environmental changes in light levels. Blue light — which predominantly comes from the sun — is an important part of this equation. When you wear these glasses, you run the risk of interfering with this natural process and potentially encountering sleep problems.
Disrupted Mood Regulation
In addition to sleep regulation, studies suggest natural blue light also helps our bodies regulate mood and cognitive function. As such, blocking blue light could mean blocking natural mood regulation. From helping us pay attention to encouraging us to stay alert, your blue light blocking glasses could potentially reduce these positive effects. By blocking blue light exposure over time, you face the risk of disrupting your body’s natural ability to regulate your mood and mental well-being.
Blocking Natural Benefits
Even with all the blue light from our electronics, our primary source of blue light still comes from the sun. You might want a pair of blue light blocking glasses to avoid the possible harmful effects of artificial blue light. But, you’re blocking the health benefits of natural blue light in the process. In addition to the benefits mentioned above, natural blue light also promotes our body’s synthesis of vitamin D. If you block this electronic blue light, you block the positive effects of natural blue light on your overall health.
Increased Color Distortion
Depending on the strength of the blue light blocking glasses, you potentially face the risk of distorting your perception of other colors. Just as sunglasses have little use outside of filtering bright rays, blue light blocking glasses have few added benefits when worn away from your electronics. You wouldn’t wear sunglasses inside, right? Everything would look much darker than it actually is. Along this same line of thinking, wearing these glasses when not exposed to blue light can cause color distortion.
Some studies have shown natural blue light can improve cognitive performance and alertness. Whether studying, working, drawing, or reading, blocking blue light during these tasks could reduce your productivity and overall performance. This is especially a problem for those with blue light blocking filters added over the top of their prescription lenses. Until more research is done on the truth about blue light blocking, you don’t want to run the risk of disrupting your body’s ability to be productive.
Electronics With No Blue Light
In Review: Reasons to Avoid a New Pair of Blue Light Blocking Glasses Today
Brands sell blue light glasses as a potential solution to mitigate the effects of blue light exposure. However, evidence in support of widespread use remains inconclusive. As such, it’s essential to approach this topic with critical thinking and consider individual circumstances. Did your doctor tell you to use blue light blocking glasses? Then, by all means, proceed. If not? Know that the human eye has evolved to handle a wide range of light wavelengths — including blue light. Blocking it entirely may interfere with many of your body’s natural abilities. Let’s review.
|Reasons to Avoid Blue Light Blocking Glasses Summary|
|Reduced exposure to blue light might lead to worse sleep|
|Not getting enough blue light could result in poor mood regulation|
|Blocking blue light from the sun keeps our bodies from synthesizing vitamin D|
|Prolonged blue light blocking could distort color perception|
|Cutting down on blue light exposure could make you less productive|
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