Blue Light Glasses Benefits - 5 Tips For Optimal Health
If you catch yourself looking at the screens or working a 9-5 job, you must be stuck in the loop of blue light and its harmful effects.
Since everything went online with the spike of Covid, it was even harder to escape screens post-pandemic.
Whether it was for entertainment, education, or work, you were in front of your laptops most of the time making it even harder to reduce your screen time.
The digital revolution has worsened most people's digital wellness. The amount of blue light that an adult is exposed to daily has increased making people more prone to CVS (Computer vision syndrome).
This article is for you if you are looking for ways to reduce the effects of blue light on your eyes at work or remove the blaring light. It also discusses blue light glasses and how they benefit your eyes.
What Is Blue Light?
Blue light, which includes sunlight, is a wavelength of light. It is a type of visible light on the light spectrum and has a short wavelength of 415 to 455 nanometers. Because of this, blue light rays contain more energy than other light types.
Short wavelengths of blue light penetrate the back of the eye, causing damage to the retina. Long-term exposure also damages the muscles and causes macular degeneration (a condition in which a person loses their central vision and cannot see fine details).
Though the sun is the ultimate source of blue light wavelengths, you can see a rapid increase in the usage of artificial sources of blue light too.
Today, almost every workplace or household uses LEDs, and even the electronic devices you use for work or personal use have built-in LEDs.
According to data from DataReportal published in March 2022, the average American spends 7 hours and 4 minutes in front of a screen every day.
Especially after the Covid period, almost every aspect of life went online. Working from home culture has increased the exposure to blue light wavelengths over the years. Screens have become a part of your lives like never before.
It has now become your source of news, entertainment, social interaction, and communication. And with work from home being more common than ever, it can be very taxing on your eyes.
If you look for sources of blue light, you will find them everywhere. You can find it naturally in the sunlight. But most commonly, the electronic devices that we use, like computer screens, laptops, mobile phones, and even smart TVs, are made up of liquid crystal displays (LCDs), which look super clear. Yet, they release the highest amount of blue light wavelengths.
Despite our best efforts, we cannot avoid digital screens. Instead, we must learn how to protect ourselves from the negative side effects of screen use.
How Does Blue Light Affect Your Health?
Blue lights and their wavelength affect your eye health.
A blaring office environment or staring at a screen most of the time can make you feel tired from staring.
Again, excessive exposure to blue light can have a negative impact on both your physical and mental health. It can even lead to many health problems among teens and adults as well.
"But blue light from screens can negatively affect your sleep cycle and contribute to digital eye strain, according to UC Davis Health."
To a great extent, blue light disturbs the body's natural circadian rhythm. It can cause macular degeneration and several eye diseases like dry eyes. It is due to the excessive use of short wavelengths.
These wavelengths have a great deal of energy reaching your eyes compared to the much wider wavelengths at the other end of the spectrum.
The bright overhead light at work or the light emitted from digital devices can even disrupt your sleep cycle. It can cause a suppression of melatonin and lead to insomnia or trouble getting sound sleep.
Again, lower melatonin levels might explain the association between sleepless nights and daytime fatigue. Sleepless nights can lead to short-term insomnia. It impairs cognitive function, thus affecting memory, attention span, and the ability to reason.
Further, persistent insomnia can also lead to many physical and mental health problems. It can cause issues like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, depression, anxiety, and obesity.
What Can You Do To Mitigate The Effects Of Blue Light At Work?
More and more work-life now revolves around looking at screens for multiple hours. With the pandemic and work-from-home culture, almost everything has gone online.It has become inevitable to stare at screens for long hours.
Workplaces use these lights to keep their employees awake and attentive. But an excessive amount could be detrimental to their health. Thus, it is important to recognize its side effects and make it your priority to preserve your employees' well-being by being more understanding and open about it.
Although these health issues caused by excess exposure to blue lights are harmful, they are preventable. It is possible to reduce the effect of blue light on your employees. You can mitigate it through workplace wellness programs, especially if they work a lot in front of a computer or work night shifts.
Here are a few tips or methods that you can put in place to help mitigate the effects of blue light at work -
Create an awareness program about the effects of blue light among your colleagues.
Prompt them to take short breaks away from their screen and phone.
Try to use a blue light screen filter or turn off the blue light setting on the devices at work.
Try to cut down screen time by one hour every day.
Practice social media detox during lunch hours.
Promote blinking exercise into their daily work routine. It will help your employees refocus their eyesight and work their eye muscles.
Encourage your employees to use or wear more blue-light-blocking glasses at work.
You can also provide free eye checkups or coupons to buy blue light lenses.
Try the 20-20-20 rule proposed by DR Beth Lenov. It is where you take a break away from your screen and look at something 20 feet away for min 20 secs. It will reduce eye strain and serve as a regular reminder of blue light exposure.
What Are Blue-Light-Blocking Glasses?
Blue light-blocking glasses are introduced as a preventive measure against blue light exposure. Eyeglass manufacturers have created lenses with special coatings or tints designed to reflect or block blue light. It reduces the possible harm and negative effects of prolonged blue light exposure.
Often called computer glasses, these are what they sound like. There are special blue-light-blocking glasses with lenses that filter out blue light but let other types of light through.
Although the American Academy of Ophthalmology doesn't say that it's a cure, there is certain evidence that it can be one. When mixed with certain healthy lifestyle choices, you can use it as a preventive measure.
Why Should You Wear Blue Light Glasses?
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends wearing blue-light-blocking glasses instead of lenses. When working or spending a lot of time using electronic devices you should wear one since they cause less eye irritation and dry eyes compared to that contact lenses.
Wearing computer glasses or blue-light-blocking glasses can help protect your eyes. It also helps you fall asleep when you wear them before nighttime. It reduces the exposure of light emitted from the computer screens or Led lights.
Again, if your eyes are experiencing dryness or irritation from prolonged screen exposure, you may benefit from using blue light glasses. It is even possible that you might not notice the beginning signs of eye strain and other effects of blue light. But you should start paying close attention to what your body is trying to say.
Here are some warning signs or symptoms to look out for that tell you if you need blue light blocking computer glasses-
Suggested Read : Transforming Employee Wellbeing with Digital Health
5 Health Benefits Of Blue Light Glasses
The light emitted by computer screens and other devices are quite different from the light coming from natural sources. It has a lot of blue light from the blue side of the visible spectrum. Although cutting down screen time is an option to reduce the exposure.Yet, cutting it down altogether is not practical.
Most of your work and personal life rely on electronic devices. But using or wearing blue light glasses can help you combat the blue light exposure.
Here are five reasons you should start wearing them -
1. Reduces Eye Strain
If you spend time or sit in front of a computer for a long day at work, you must feel the discomfort in your eyes. You can experience stress and strained eyes and muscles. It can be due to long exposure to the harmful blue light emitted from electronic devices.
According to a study in 2017, wearing glasses coated with tinted blue light blocking for one month improved eye health. It helps to improve their vision and reduce glare while using digital screens.
Blue light glasses protect your eyes from high-energy blue wavelengths. It reduces the potential for eye damage from prolonged exposure.
It helps to increase contrast on your screen. It makes it easier to focus and minimize eye strain.
2. An Improved Sleep Cycle
The short wavelengths of blue light can reduce melatonin release. It further causes insomnia or makes it harder to fall asleep if you spend more screen time before going to bed. It will delay the release and affect your body's natural circadian rhythm.
Researchers have found that blue light glasses can help you fall asleep when you wear them before bedtime or while using digital devices. Such glasses can help you feel less stressed.
Suggested Read : Try the Sleep Challenge and Feel More Productive at Work
3. Reduces Eye Diseases
Prolonged exposure to blue light can cause certain eye diseases like macular degeneration and, worse, might lead to even blindness and blurred vision.
Although your cornea and eye lens are good at blocking harmful UV light from reaching the retina, they still can get affected by the shortwave light of blue light. It can penetrate your eyes and cause further damage to the retina.
Wearing blue-light-blocking glasses while using digital devices or even sunglasses when heading out in the sun can help you reduce the exposure and prevent you from developing cataracts.
4. It helps To Prevent Headaches And Migraines.
People who spend most of their time on digital devices, whether at work or during their lunch break, may suffer from migraines, dry eyes, nausea, and headaches at work due to photophobia or abnormal light sensitivity.
You can reduce the symptoms of Photophobia symptoms such as migraines and headaches by wearing blue light glasses or light-sensitive glasses. Their precision-tinted lenses filter only the wavelengths of light that pose the greatest risk while letting the rest pass through.
5. It Helps To Improve Your Mood.
The circadian rhythm plays an important role in sending the right signals to the brain to release the right kind of hormones. It depends on the time of day and the needs of your body.
During bedtime, exposure to blue light can alter your body's natural circadian rhythms. It can cause delays or reduce melatonin production.
Again, the disruption of circadian rhythm affects melatonin and sleep patterns. It also causes an imbalance in the levels of other hormones, such as dopamine and serotonin. These hormones regulate your mood and emotions, resulting in mood disorders and depression.
As limiting screen time has become a difficult task nowadays, some experts suggest wearing blue-light absorbing glasses in the evening or while using digital devices at night. It can help reduce glare and suppress the delay of melatonin production.
Suggested Read : Mood Meters : A New Corporate Health And Wellness Initiative
Summing It Up
Thus, we can say that screen culture is here to stay, and avoiding digital devices is not workable for most people. But, by adopting these simple lifestyle changes and solutions, you can reduce the risks to your eye health and also other physical and mental health risks.
I hope this article helped you grasp a better idea of blue light glasses and their benefits in reducing digital eye strain. But if you still feel you're more sensitive to light than others, you can always seek medical advice.
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