Eyeglasses | Optical Center SmartBuyGlasses NZ

What are blue light glasses? (Everything that you need to know)

Want to know how to go every day with reduced eye irritations? Have you noticed a change in your concentration and sleeping pattern, and want to know the unknown symptoms that blue light could be having on you? It can be difficult to focus when you’re not feeling up to scratch, and can’t quite put your finger on what the problem is…


To answer your burning questions, let’s start with what blue light glasses are, why blue light could be harmful, how blue light glasses can change your daily activities, and why everyone is now wearing them compared to normal prescription glasses.


The purpose of blue light glasses

Blue light glasses have been made to filter out blue light. The glasses are provided with a blue light filter on the surface of the lenses that block out an estimated 65% of blue light rays. This will help to prevent symptoms of eyestrain, caused by blue light that can irritate the eyes. 


If you use digital technology for socializing, for fun, or for work, and have noticed some changes in your eyes or health, then blue light glasses may be what your eyes need.


Work is known to take up a fourth (25%) of our year, and the average person will use some form of technology every day. According to statista.com, 4.66 billion people are using technology every day. It’s important to prioritize health and to adapt to the increase of digital usage, to protect ourselves and optimize the way we live our lives.


What are blue light glasses and what are blue light glasses used for?

Blue light blocking glasses are designed specifically to filter out the blue light rays that are commonly released from digital screens.


Blue light rays are at the high end of the light spectrum and have the shortest, yet the most powerful, wavelength (380-460nm). Blue light rays are the closest to invisible waves and the ultraviolet rays, which are known to be the most dangerous of them all.


This isn’t to say that blue light has the same potential, damaging effects as ultraviolet rays. However, there has still been little research conducted about blue light and the long-term damages it may cause. Therefore, it is best to be safe and protect your eyes from blue light with a pair of blue light glasses



The above chart clearly shows the positioning of blue light within the light spectrum.


The lenses of blue light glasses will come with a protective coating, causing a slightly yellow tint, that blocks out an estimate of 65% of blue light. Blue light glasses aim to allow you to work or use digital technology every day, with fewer irritations to your eyes.  


Blue light glasses are used by those who use technology regularly. This is mainly at work, in education, for day-to-day communication such as texts and calls, and for gaming. The average person spends around 8 hours a day on digital technology, 3 of these hours being spent on mobile phones. If you’re already a prescription glasses wearer, you’re just one step away from protection. 


As blue light is the shortest wave with the highest energy, blue light can potentially cause eye irritations, disturbed sleep, and lack of focus when sitting in front of digital technology for longer periods of time. It’s been clear from customers that blue light may have some potential irritating and tiring effects on the eyes, and can affect one's daily activities. So, wearing blue light glasses can potentially help reduce headaches, enhance sleep, and possibly reduce the feeling of eye strain and eye irritations. 


Lastly, “Do blue light glasses really work?”, is our most frequently asked question. Multiple studies (such as a 2017 University of Houston study) suggest that blue light glasses, such as those with zFORT® blue light protection, can take an active role in protecting your eyes from harmful types of light.


How to test your blue light filter

We’ve devised a great way to check if your blue-light-blocking glasses are up to scratch. If you are looking to test your blue light filter, check out this image below.


If you have the normal color perception (i.e. you’re not colorblind), and your monitor can accurately display RGB colors, the two images shown above should appear different - a standard view on the left and a view with a darker blue on the right. 


The image on the left represents a regular RGB color model, while the image on the right has been modified to reduce the blue light present using photo editing software. Now, try looking at the image with your blue light filtering eyewear. If you have true blue light filtering eyewear, both images will appear almost identical to the glasses.


What’s the difference between computer glasses and blue light glasses?

Computer glasses differ from traditional eyeglasses or reading glasses in a few ways to optimize your eyesight when viewing your computer screen. Though computer glasses are sometimes known as computer reading glasses, it’s best to use ‘computer glasses’ or ‘computer eyeglasses’ to distinguish them from conventional reading glasses.


Computer glasses are designed with the primary purpose of reducing Digital Eye Strain (DES). These glasses feature coatings that help reduce DES, for example, anti-glare coating, slight magnification, and decentred pupillary distance. Anti-glare or anti-reflective coating is required to reduce reflections coming from computer screens and overhead fluorescent lighting on the front of the lens surface.


In general, computer glasses have about 60% of the magnifying power of reading glasses. However, the optimal magnification varies from person to person. It depends on how far you prefer to sit from your computer screen or other digital devices. 


For these reasons, computer glasses should be customized to your individual needs. Using weaker, non-prescription reading glasses for computer work won’t provide the accurate vision correction you need for sustained clarity and comfort.


Computer glasses put the optimum lens power for viewing your computer screen right where you need it for a clear field of vision without the need for excessive focusing effort or unhealthy postures.


Computer glasses only block about 50% of blue light because blue light in natural quantities is healthy and required by the body for certain functions such as regulating the circadian rhythm. It’s only the excessive blue light from digital devices that need to be blocked out. Consistent exposure to blue light to the retinal cells in our eyes can halt the secretion of melatonin, the hormone responsible for promoting a good night’s sleep.


To summarize: computer glasses have special lenses that focus the light differently. However, they’re commonly mixed up with blue light blocking glasses or blue light glasses


Why is blue light bad?


As blue light is a form of UV light, the problems that it may cause are no different from, indeed, UV light. In small doses this would not represent a serious issue and would even give you a nice suntan; however, prolonged exposure can lead to sunburn or even skin cancer in extreme cases. 


Blue light is similar. It’s also emitted by the sun, and while it won’t give you sunburn or skin cancer, it can still cause quite a few problems. The blue light emitted from computer screens is somewhat insignificant compared to that emitted by the sun, but can still potentially be harmful. This is due to a combination of two factors: prolonged exposure to it from staring at LED screens, coupled with the fact that our eyes are just not that well adapted to blocking it (this can cause eye irritations).


According to some studies (including ones from Harvard Medical School (2012) and the University of Houston (2017)), blue light can be harmful and damage your retinal cells when it reaches dangerously short wavelengths (between 415nm and 455nm). This is because your eyes cannot naturally block it out, which is why blue light glasses have been made.


The main symptoms people feel that they are affected by are eye strain, sleep issues, and headaches. To counteract the possible effects of blue light, try zFORT® blue light filter glasses. These lenses help to filter out blue light before it reaches your eyes, which could contribute to improving possible symptoms.


When should you wear blue light glasses?

Since blue light glasses filter out possible harmful wavelengths of light, they are best worn when exposed to blue light. This includes almost all electronic devices with screens - so, whether you’re watching TV, checking your phone, or working at a computer, the best blue light blocking glasses with zFORT® technology can minimize your risk of eye strain, headaches, and difficulty sleeping. 


We suggest wearing blue light glasses:


• On extremely bright, sunny days

• In front of a computer monitor

• In spaces with fluorescent lights

• When using your phone (especially at night)

• When a migraine feels imminent


Whilst blue light glasses work for those who don’t require any vision correction, or for those who don’t use prescription glasses, blue-blocking lenses are also suitable for those who: 


• Need prescription eyewear for presbyopia

• Wear reading glasses

• Wear progressive lenses

• Wear bifocals


Blue light glasses are also great for people who have visual impairments over intermediate distances and want to achieve a sharper focus to enhance visual clarity. SmartBuyGlasses offer a variety of lens customization options for your blue-blocking prescription lenses, to maximize eyesight and comfort. These include scratch-resistant, anti-reflective, UV400, and superhydrophobic coatings, all purpose-built to protect your glasses and eyes from everyday potential stresses and strains. 


 What are the benefits of blue light glasses?