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Do Blue Light Glasses Help with Digital Eye Strain?

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Many Americans are affected by digital eye strain, a condition caused by extended use of digital screens. If you suffer from the effects of this condition, how do you find relief? 

Your optometrist can recommend the best solution, but what options do you have? Before you book your appointment, let’s look at some options to prevent digital eye strain. 

What is Digital Eye Strain?

The average American worker spends approximately seven hours a day on the computer, and prolonged screen use can affect your eyes and cause significant irritation. This is a major cause of computer vision syndrome, also known as digital eye strain

This condition typically goes away after resting your eyes, but it can significantly impact your quality of life. Thankfully, there are many ways to reduce or prevent the effects of digital eye strain. You may even have heard of blue light glasses, a solution to computer vision syndrome gaining popularity. 

What are Blue Light Glasses?

Blue light emits from devices such as smartphones, computer monitors, and televisions. Some claim this light is a major cause of digital eye strain and reducing it from reaching your eyes can protect them. This is the idea of blue light glasses, they filter this light to prevent eye discomfort. 

Blue light filters do reduce exposure, but some question if blue light contributes to digital eye strain

Do Blue Light Glasses Help?

While blue light glasses do reduce blue light, there is no concrete evidence it harms your eyes. There is not enough research to prove blue light causes digital eye strain, but some professionals still recommend these glasses. Others say these glasses help reduce general strain on your eyes while working. 

If you’re unsure about whether or not blue light glasses are for you, there are several other methods to reduce or prevent digital eye strain. These methods include: 

  • Anti-glare coating
  • Computer progressive lenses
  • Environmental & habitual changes  

Anti-Glare

Anti-glare (or anti-reflective) technology focuses on reducing glare reflecting off of your monitor, phone, and lenses. Glare may affect your vision, causing you to focus more on whatever you’re looking at. This constant re-focusing may cause digital eye strain. 

Anti-reflective coatings prevent incoming glare from hitting your eyes. This coating is typically applied to the front and back of your eyeglass lens. This technology reflects glare and allows more light to enter the lens and optimize your vision. 

This coating is especially helpful for computer work, as your screen reflects artificial light from the lamps in your room and sunlight from outside. Getting anti-reflective coating on your glasses removes glare and allows you to work more comfortably. It can also be added as screen filters for your devices.  

Computer Progressive Lenses

If you suffer from presbyopia, progressive lenses are a great solution for you. With standard, single vision eyeglasses, you may need to switch between reading glasses and your regular prescription throughout the day. 

Progressive lenses combine multiple prescriptions into a single lens. They offer a smooth, gradual transition between prescriptions to provide you with clear vision at all distances. 

Using standard progressive lenses, your eyes may be switching prescriptions when working on the computer. This can affect your ability to focus because your eyes are constantly adjusting. Computer progressive lenses optimize your vision to see clearly from a computer distance. 

A woman working on her computer utilizing good posture

Environmental & Habitual Changes 

Usually, the best way to reduce the symptoms of digital eye strain is to rest your eyes, but taking a break from the screen isn’t always possible. There are various ways to rescue and prevent these symptoms without buying specialized eyewear. The 20/20/20 rule is an effective way to do this. 

Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break to stare at something at least 20 feet away. This rule is simple, effective, and gives your eyes a well-deserved break. The 20/20/20/ rule isn’t the only way to help with digital eye strain, there are other environmental changes you can make. 

Optimize your workspace for an effective way to protect your eyes. Start by adjusting your room lighting; it shouldn’t be overly bright or dim. Positioning your screen away from any window light can reduce any incoming glare as well. 

You can change the way you sit at your computer to prevent digital eye strain. Optimize your distance from the computer by sitting at least an arm’s length (25 inches) away from the screen. Make sure your posture is correct by straightening your back and ensuring your eyes line up with the computer screen. 

Anti-glare coating, computer progressive lenses, and habitual and environmental changes can be effective ways to reduce symptoms of digital eye strain. If you’re looking for the best options for your ocular health, your optometrist can provide you with effective solutions. 

Visit Your Optometrist

If you’re suffering from the effects of digital eye strain, you deserve relief. If you’re unsure if blue light glasses or any other eyewear is a good fit for you, meet with your optometrist. They can recommend the best solutions for your condition.

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  • Written by Stephen Lobaugh

    Dr. Lobaugh earned his doctorate from the New England College of Optometry in 1997 and has dedicated his career to providing high-quality eye care services to residents of the Washington-Baltimore area.

    Dr. Lobaugh is an Affiliate Doctor with TLC Laser Eye Centers, a position that allows him to effectively co-manage a variety of refractive surgeries including LASIK, PRK, and KAMRA inlay. He is also certified by the International Association of Board of Examiners in the treatment and management of ocular disease.

    In 2015, Dr. Lobaugh joined the Eye Rx team, allowing us to open our second location in Washington. He hopes to continue to serve the residents of the D.C. Metropolitan area for many more years to come.

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