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Can I Wear Blue Light Glasses All the Time?

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A woman with blue light reflected on her glasses from a screen.

If you’ve been in the market for some new glasses, there’s a decent chance you’ve come across blue light glasses. Maybe you’re even already familiar with these blue light glasses and are reaping the benefits of wearing them. However, you could be wondering if wearing them all the time would be safe and beneficial.

Research shows that wearing blue light glasses all the time won’t harm your vision; however, results will depend on what you’re wearing them for, as they may not eliminate digital eye strain.

If you’re experiencing digital eye strain, it’s important to visit your eye doctor for an eye exam to help you rule out any possible underlying conditions. 

Understanding the Benefits of Blue Light Glasses

To properly answer whether you can wear blue light glasses all the time, it’s first important to understand what the benefits are to wearing these glasses, as many people hold the belief that blue light glasses have the potential to reduce eyestrain. This is yet to be conclusively supported by scientific research.

Blue light glasses are often promoted to ease eye strain, enhance sleep quality, and shield against retinal damage. Yet, a systematic review didn’t find solid evidence backing these claims. 

The review included three studies that showed no significant improvements in visual performance, symptoms of eye fatigue, or sleep quality when comparing blue light lenses with regular ones. There was also no data about the impact of these lenses on macular health. 

Blue light lenses may help improve sleep quality, but no research has shown their effects on macular health. More rigorous studies are needed to evaluate the true benefits of blue-blocking lenses.

Do Blue Light Glasses Have Any Benefits? 

Blue light glasses can help improve sleep patterns. Blue light glasses are designed to shield your eyes from the blue light emitted by electronic devices, which can interfere with your sleep cycle

A study showed that wearing blue light glasses 3 hours before bed can improve sleep quality and mood. Another small trial found that insomniacs wearing these glasses for 2 hours before bed experienced better sleep. However, another study showed no improvement in sleep time or quality after a week of wearing the glasses.

Poor sleep can lead to health problems like heart disease and obesity, and the blue light from your electronics can contribute to these issues. Blue light may affect your sleep by reducing melatonin, the sleep hormone. Blue light glasses, which are amber-tinted, can help by blocking blue light, improving sleep quality and mood.

Is It Safe to Wear Blue Light Glasses All the Time?

Yes, it is safe to wear blue light glasses all the time. There are no harmful side effects associated with wearing blue light glasses for long periods. 

Wearing them throughout the day, every day, may not be necessary, however, wearing blue light glasses in the evening before bedtime to avoid disruptions in sleep patterns can be helpful. 

What to Consider Before Wearing Blue Light Glasses All the Time?

Much like any other pair of glasses, if you plan to wear blue light glasses all the time, it is essential to consider the quality of the glasses. Not all blue light glasses are the same, and some may not be effective.  

It is crucial to ensure that the glasses you choose have the technology to block light at least 400 nm. Additionally, ensure that the glasses fit properly and are comfortable to wear for long periods. Poorly fitting glasses can cause discomfort and eye strain.

Other Ways to Reduce Blue Light Exposure

While wearing blue light glasses can reduce blue light exposure, it is not the only way. Other ways to reduce blue light exposure include reducing screen brightness, using night mode on devices, and minimizing exposure to electronic devices before bedtime. 

Additionally, using anti-glare screens or taking breaks from electronic devices can also help reduce eye strain. Practice the 20-20-20 rule (look away from the screen every 20 minutes and focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds) to reduce eye strain.

It is important to remember that the effectiveness of these glasses varies, and more extensive, long-term studies are needed. While blue-light-blocking glasses might help, they’re not a surefire solution to sleep problems and they are not approved medical devices.

Close-up of a woman undergoing a slit-lamp exam.

Embracing Blue Light Glasses: Safe for All-Day Wear, But Balance is Key

Wearing blue light glasses all the time is safe, but it may not be necessary or practical unless you spend most of your day in front of electronic devices. Foresee Eyecare encourages you to get regular eye exams to make sure your eyes are working their best. Book an appointment for a tailored treatment plan for you and any eye strain you may be experiencing.

Written by Dr. Timothy H. Tsang

Dr. Timothy Tsang obtained his Doctorate of Optometry, graduating cum laude from the Illinois College of Optometry. He completed clinical externships with honours in hospitals across the United States as well as abroad in Australia. Upon graduating, he received scholarships to continue academic interests and completed a residency in primary care and ocular disease.

Dr. Tsang has extensive experience diagnosing, treating, and managing ocular disease and emergency conditions and continues to find passion in learning and educating his patients, students, and colleagues.

Dr. Tsang was awarded the distinction of Clinical Educator of the Year in his first year of teaching. He has held positions of clinical lecturer, assistant professor of optometry, as well as an admissions committee member at the Illinois College of Optometry. Dr. Tsang has presented in optometry conferences and has also published in peer-reviewed journals. He serves as an editorial reviewer for Canadian and American journals of optometry.

Dr. Tsang previously served as the director of ocular disease services at the Vision Institute of Canada and has been an optometry representative on the Eye Health Council of Ontario. He has previously held positions as director of the board and lead of education for the Ontario Association of Optometrists.

Currently, Dr. Tsang is in private practice in Vaughan. He has served as an adjunct clinical lecturer for the School of Optometry, University of Waterloo, and is a clinical instructor of primary care, ocular disease, and emergency eye care at Foresee Eyecare. He currently serves on the Quality Assurance-Clinical Practice Committee of the College of Optometrists of Ontario and is also the staff optometrist at Mon Sheong Richmond Hill Long-Term Care Centre.

Clinical Instructor, School of Optometry, University of Waterloo Externship Preceptor, Illinois College of Optometry

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