You may have heard about blue light glasses if you have certain eye conditions or spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen. These glasses help to block out much of the blue light generated by computer and phone screens and the natural environment. So, if they’re meant for blocking out blue light, why are they yellow?
The yellow lenses of blue light glasses filter the light that passes to your eyes, blocking out the blue light. Blue light glasses work in much the same way as sunglasses except that they affect the type of light, not the amount, reaching your eyes.
Want to learn more about how these yellow tinted lenses work? Maybe you’re wondering if you need blue light glasses and you want to know how to choose the best pair. Keep reading! In this article, we’ll answer all of these questions and more.
Why are Blue Light Lenses Tinted Yellow?
Did you know that the average adult spends 11 hours a day staring at a screen? Whether that be a computer, a smartphone, a TV, or a combination of devices, all of that screen time can lead to some pretty serious eye strain.
Eye strain is most commonly caused by the blue light emanating from our modern devices. Our eyes can’t properly filter blue light, which is one of the brightest types of visible light. The sun produces blue light, and many car headlights and even home light bulbs also produce a fair amount of blue light.
So basically, we are constantly surrounded by this super-bright light which our eyes have no way of filtering.
That’s where blue light glasses come in.
Not all blue light glasses are tinted yellow, but the ones that are tend to be more effective. The yellow tint does what our own eyes can’t do: it acts as a filter, straining out the harsh blue light while allowing lights of other wavelengths to pass through.
This yellow tint doesn’t make the world look darker, as sunglasses would. Because it is only blocking out the blue light, you can still use them effectively even in low light conditions. In fact, many blue light glasses are marketed for use at night, as they tend to reduce glare and add clarity and definition.
Do I Need Blue Light Glasses?
With all the time we spend staring at a screen these days, you might be tempted to think that everyone should be wearing blue light glasses. While this certainly wouldn’t be a bad idea, and would probably reduce the amount of eye strain-induced eye problems, not everyone would benefit equally from the use of blue light glasses.
The truth is, some people who have used blue light glasses consider them a waste of money, while others swear by them. How can you know if they will be effective for you?
All you can do is give them a try.
But before you spend money on an expensive pair of blue light glasses, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to better predict whether blue light glasses will work for you.
Are You Sensitive to Blue Light?
Your ophthalmologist may have diagnosed you with a blue light sensitivity, or you may have noticed symptoms on your own. Symptoms such as extreme sensitivity to your computer or phone screen, greater than average sunlight sensitivity, or a tendency to developing severe headaches when exposed to blue light may all point toward a blue light sensitivity.
People who are particularly sensitive to blue light will most likely experience noticeable benefits from using blue light glasses.
Are You Experiencing New Eye Problems or Eye Strain?
If you’ve noticed that your eyes are rapidly or progressively declining, these problems may be caused by eye strain from too much blue light exposure. You may also be experiencing symptoms of eye strain such as headaches, tiredness, and tension around the eyes. If you experience any of these symptoms, it would be best to contact your eye doctor right away.
Your doctor may suggest trying blue light glasses, or you could try them out on your own to see if they make a difference.
Do You Have Trouble Falling Asleep?
The blue light generated by our devices actually plays tricks on our brains, telling us we need to stay awake. If you have a habit of watching TV before bed or sitting on your computer late at night, you may also find that you have trouble getting to sleep.
If you’re experiencing insomnia brought on by blue light exposure, then using blue light glasses for a few hours before bedtime may help you fall asleep faster and easier.
How to Choose the Best Blue Light Glasses
Your eye doctor may recommend prescription blue light glasses, but these can be quite expensive. There are lots of cheaper, non-prescription blue light glasses on the market, but how do you know which ones are best and which ones are too cheap to be effective?
Let’s check out a few tips for choosing the best blue light glasses for you.
- Ask your doctor for recommendations. Your eye doctor will probably be familiar with many of the products and brands available and may be able to recommend a specific pair of blue light glasses.
- Check out customer reviews. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to do a bit of research on your own. See what other wearers are saying about specific brands of blue light glasses. Read customer reviews. Check out product review articles. Research a brand’s history. And if you know anyone who wears blue light glasses, ask them for recommendations.
- The darker the color, the more blue light is being blocked. Some blue light glasses come in other colors, such as clear, amber, and red. Generally speaking, clear glasses block the least amount of blue light, while red glasses block the greatest amount. If you’re not sure which color is right for you, consider how you plan to use the glasses.
If you plan to wear them all day for minor blue light blocking, clear or light-yellow glasses may be all you need. If you want to block all of the blue light for several hours before bed, red lenses may be best. If you just want to give blue light glasses a try and want to limit the amount of blue light you’re seeing, yellow or amber may be the best color.
- Don’t buy the cheapest or most expensive pair you find. This is good general advice for buying most anything. If you buy the cheapest pair of blue light glasses, you’re likely to get what you paid for. On the other hand, buying the most expensive pair won’t necessarily mean you’re getting the best quality.
Especially if you’re just wanting to try out the glasses, buy a pair that’s cheap enough it won’t break the bank, yet priced high enough that you can be confident in the quality.
Many blue light glasses are tinted yellow because this yellow coloring helps to block out some of the blue light from device screens and the environment. Blue light glasses may benefit you if you’re particularly sensitive to blue light, are experiencing symptoms of eye strain, or have trouble getting to sleep at night.
If you’re not sure whether to try yellow-tinted blue light glasses or some other color, consider just how much of the blue light you’re hoping to block. Talking to your eye doctor may also help as you attempt to choose the best pair of blue light glasses for you.