Blue light is thought to be harmful to the light-sensitive parts of the eye, such as the macula. The macular is prone to degeneration and it has been suggested that high-energy blue light may increase the risk of macular degeneration. But, are blue light glasses any good and should you get a pair?
Digital screens are known to emit light in the blue-violet part of the spectrum, also known as high-energy visible light. However, there isn’t much clear scientific evidence that it is harmful to the eye. So, it is worth noting that it may actually be unnecessary and nothing to worry about. The problem is, as screens advance, the blue light emitted is increasing and this can lead to digital eye strain and fatigue. We know that ultra-violet rays are bad, so it may be sensible to limit exposure to wavelengths close to UV. Too much blue light before bedtime may also interrupt sleep.
So here are the topics we’re going to cover in this article:
Blue light filtering lenses
Innovative lenses are specifically designed to filter blue light. This helps to relax and protect your eyes. Not all filtering lenses are the same, and some cheaper varieties don’t filter much at all. Moreover, different designs use different filtering techniques.
How do blue light filters work?
Modern, innovative filters use nano-technology to reflect light waves back from the lens surface. The nono-coating is designed to reflect only waves in the 390-440 nanometer wavelength range. Consequently, the lens may appear to have a puple-blue light reflectiveness.
Some anti-reflective coatings include the feature above. Some coatings are less effective. They are also normally cheaper. Better quality versions are more effective. For example, the Hoya Diamond Finish with Blue Control offers reduced glare for more comfortable and relaxed vision as well as better contrast perception and a more natural colour experience. Other good quality brands include the Australian Made CR Surfacing Satin Blue and the Zeiss DuraVision BlueProtect products.
Applying a tint to a lens can also help control blue light reaching the eye. For example, a yellow to orange lens tint will absorb visible light around the violet to the blue range. Tints can vary in their density. So the denser the tint, the more light will be absorbed.
The combination of a yellow-orange tint and a suitable anti-reflective coating will prevent light from passing through the lens in both ways. This combination can be the best choice for people who are most sensitive to screen glare and is also particularly effective for night driving.
Adjust your device
Most modern devices’ screens can be adjusted to control blue light. For example, you can set an automatic “bedtime mode” colour change which is currently recommended an hour before sleep.
The downside of filters
Any form of blue light filter is going to affect the colour you see through the lenses. This may be a bad thing if you’re a graphic designer or photographer. Your vision will appear yellow and increasingly so based upon the strength of the filter. The good news (if you’re not a graphic designer or photographer) is that this will settle down very quickly and your vision will feel relatively normal after about 30 seconds. Interestingly, the opposite effect occurs when you remove the lenses from your vision; colours will appear overwhelmingly blue as the blue light receptors in your retina become suddenly stimulated. Again, this settles after about 30 seconds.
What we offer
All our prescription lenses are available with blue light filtering technology. Our range of digital eyewear lenses, which are predominantly prescribed for use on devices, will come with this technology automatically, at no extra charge.
The final verdict
There isn’t any really hard evidence to suggest that this technology is best practice, however, it doesn’t do any harm, so we feel it’s probably a good idea. You can also adjust your screen settings and set a bedtime mode if you don’t wear glasses.