How long should you wear blue light glasses?


Red glass – A type of blue light blocking glass

You might have got a new pair of blue light glasses as there are increasing evidences that it can do us good. With the rise of artificial lighting such as phones, bright LED lights and more, insomnia has been a rising concern recently. This has been linked to blue light glasses and you might be wondering if how long can you wear blue light glasses.

The answer is you can wear blue light glasses as long as you want. It is recommended to wear blue light glasses when looking at artificial light such as computer screens, led lights and cellphone screens. How long it is will be dependent on how much you use artificial lighting. Wearing Blue light glasses prevents too much blue light from entering your eyes which can disrupt your sleep schedule affecting mood and causing insomnia.

But it is recommended to wear them all day? Do you need to wear them at night or only night? Does blue light damage your eyes? Let’s find out together in this article.

Can blue light glasses help your eyes?

Blue light glasses can help your eyes since it can block blue light. Blue light has been shown to cause oxidative stress in your eyes which can cause some damage. This is because blue light is a high energy visible light which can cause oxidative stress. Thus, reduction of blue light can be very good for your eye health.

A research study from the International Journal of Ophthalmology discussed the effect of blue light in the eyes and they said that blue light or too much blue light can cause oxidative stress to the eyes.

This is the reason why blue light has been linked to eye diseases such as age related macular degeneration. They also reported that blue light can penetrate through lens to the retina and cause retinal photochemical damage.

Source: Zhao, Zhi-Chun et al. “Research progress about the effect and prevention of blue light on eyes.” International journal of ophthalmology vol. 11,12 1999-2003. 18 Dec. 2018, doi:10.18240/ijo.2018.12.20

Another research paper which studied Age-related maculopathy and the impact of blue light hazard suggested that prevention of intense blue light can be a good prophylaxis or prevention to age related macular degeneration.

This is also because they have seen that blue light can cause oxidative stress to the eyes.

Source: Algvere, Peep V., et al. “Age-Related Maculopathy and the Impact of Blue Light Hazard.” Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica, vol. 84, no. 1, 2006, pp. 4–15. Crossref, doi:10.1111/j.1600-0420.2005.00627.x.

Thus, with these research, it can easily be said that blue light can help the eyes. But actually the most important thing to look at is its effect in your brain.

What science has proven multiple times is that blue light can affect our sleep. From preventing deep sleep to preventing us from falling asleep.

This is because our eyes are sensitive to blue light. In fact, it is one of the most important things our body is looking if it will produce a hormone called melatonin which regulates sleep.

In fact, a research paper suggested amber light which is a type of blue light blocking glass as a cheap, safe, easily implemented and affordable therapeutic intervention against insomnia.

This is because in their study, wearing blue light glasses 2 hours before bed time improved the sleep of their participants.

Source: Shechter, Ari et al. “Blocking nocturnal blue light for insomnia: A randomized controlled trial.” Journal of psychiatric research vol. 96 (2018): 196-202. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2017.10.015

Insomnia or lack of sleep has been linked to decreased mood and poor mental health.

Can you wear blue light glasses at night?

It is recommended to wear blue light glasses at night to prevent blue light from interfering your sleep. In fact, it has been proven in numerous studies that blue light can disrupt sleep and wearing glasses that blocks them is a cheap, safe and easy way to prevent insomnia.

A study involving 15 participants joined a research study for 7 days where they started wearing blue light glasses 2 hours before bedtime and the result is their sleep has been a lot better because of the reduction of blue light entering their eyes.

It is also worth noting that all the 15 participants were diagnosed with insomnia based on diagnostic criteria from the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

In the study, they were able to get better sleep using blue light glasses.

So using blue light glasses at night is a good idea. This will help you prevent blue light coming into your eyes which can really affect sleep.

Source: Shechter, Ari et al. “Blocking nocturnal blue light for insomnia: A randomized controlled trial.” Journal of psychiatric research vol. 96 (2018): 196-202. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2017.10.015

Another is a study which used amber glasses 3 hours before sleep. It has also been proven that it improved the sleep of the research participants.

Not only that, they also linked blue light glasses to a better overall mood.

“At the end of the study, the amber lens group experienced significant (p < .001) improvement in sleep quality relative to the control group and positive affect (p = .005). Mood also improved significantly relative to controls.”

-Burkhart K, Phelps JR. Amber lenses to block blue light and improve sleep: a randomized trial. Chronobiol Int. 2009 Dec;26(8):1602-12. doi: 10.3109/07420520903523719. PMID: 20030543.

Thus, wearing blue light glasses can be a really good idea but can you wear it all day?

Can you wear blue light glasses all day?

There is no harm in wearing blue light glasses all day. While it is originally designed to protect from us from blue light at night, wearing it all day may even be beneficial for people who are very sensitive to blue light. Furthermore, there are blue light glasses that can block UV rays and will offer extra protection during the day.

UV rays has been famous to cause eye strain and damage. A research from the Europe PMC discussed the damaging effects of solar UV radiation. In the research, they discussed the emergence UV-Radiation induced eye injuries.

While not perfect, to a certain point, blue light glasses especially the amber and red ones also block UV light. This can be a good reason to wear blue light glasses during the day and all day.

Source: Krasnovidov VS, Lysak VF, Osipovich VK. [Damage to the skin and eyes from solar UV-radiation] Kosmicheskaia Biologiia i Aviakosmicheskaia Meditsina. 1991 Jul-Aug;25(4):46-50.

When it comes to wearing blue light glasses all day, there is no harm in doing so. It won’t cause any harm to your eyes and may even prevent your eyes from getting strained by too much light.

This is especially helpful if you are sensitive to light. In this case, wearing blue light glasses will definitely help you during the day to prevent too much UV exposure and Blue light at night that will give you a better sleep.

But there is something to take note. Sunlight which include blue light has been correlated with a better mood.

A study titled: “Effects of Light on Mood.” has studied on the full spectrum of sunlight can elevate a person’s mood. Another research from the Journal of Affective Disorders has concluded that Bright-light exposure combined with physical exercise elevates mood. Thus, it is still recommended to go out and get sunlight. Including blue light. This not only affects mood but also wakes us up naturally.

If you plan to wear blue light glasses all day, then you need to take note that light from the sun can still be beneficial for us and using blue light glasses to block them is still inconclusive as of now.

Source: Timo Partonen & Jouko Lönnqvist (1993) Effects of Light on Mood, Annals of Medicine, 25:4, 301-302, DOI: 10.3109/07853899309147287

Source: Leppämäki, S., et al. “Bright-Light Exposure Combined with Physical Exercise Elevates Mood.” Journal of Affective Disorders, vol. 72, no. 2, 2002, pp. 139–44. Crossref, doi:10.1016/s0165-0327(01)00417-7.

Why do blue light glasses give you a headache?

Blue light glasses can give you discomforts such as headache because even if they reduce eye strain by reducing blue light, they don’t block all blue light. There are people sensitive to blue light and may still cause headaches even if they start wearing blue light glasses. If that is the case, consider wearing a better blue light blocking glass.

Here is a table of the types of Blue light glasses and how many percentage of blue light they can block.

Types of Blue Light GlassesBlue Light Protection
Clear Blue Light Glasses5-40%
Yellow Blue Light Glasses45-75%
Red Blue Light Glasses80-100%
Types of Blue Light Glasses Compared

The difference in the amount of blue light glasses usually depend on the type of the blue light glasses you might be wearing.

Another important point is that it also depends on the quality of the glasses bought. This is because the quality of materials can also be a factor on how effective the blue light is.

Most importantly, the shade of tint it has. In just the yellow category, there are a lot to choose from for example yellow to a darker yellow such as amber.

Jason

Jason Ong is a YouTuber and the one who owns this site. He shares what he learned to people and make videos if necessary. He was a former lecturer. The things he taught are topics related to Clinical Laboratory Science or what others call Medical Technology. Right now, he is also working part-time in an app company as a production supervisor. You can visit his YouTube Channel on https://ongjason.com/youtube

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