Can Blue Light Readers Hurt the Eyes?

You have probably seen blue light readers on the faces of your friends and being advertised online.  Since they are relatively new to the eyewear scene, you may be asking yourself some important questions, like what they do, who they are for, and ultimately if blue light readers are safe or damaging to your eyes.  First and foremost, it is important to understand what blue light readers are.  Blue light readers are specialized glasses that have lenses that block and/or filter the amount of blue light your eyes receive from computers, smart phones, and other devices you use every day.  As such, blue light readers are a great consideration for everyone, as practically everyone uses some type of blue light emitting device on a daily basis.  

But what about safety?  Are wearing blue light readers safe?  Can wearing them on a regular basis end up damaging your eyes?  Let’s take a look at the science and safety behind blue light readers.  

What’s In the Lenses?

We know that the lenses of blue light readers protect your eyes from the damaging effects of blue light, which is emitted from computer screens, smart phones, tablets, and other devices.  Blue light, also known as high energy visible (HEV) light, has the ability to penetrate deep into your eye and reach the retina, potentially causing permanent damage and increasing your chances of developing macular degeneration.  Additionally, blue light interferes with your normal sleep cycles by suppressing melatonin production.  It can also irritate your eyes and leave them feeling dry and itchy after a day of using a device or computer.  

The lenses of blue light readers are specially crafted to filter out all or part of that blue light attempting to infiltrate your eyes.  They work by blocking out the transmission of particular wavelengths of light; specifically, the short wavelengths of blue light.  Some blue light readers have a yellow tint which is barely visible, if at all.  

Are Blue Light Readers Considered Prescription Glasses?

No.  Blue light readers are not considered prescription lenses.  The lenses themselves are only effective in blocking out blue light.  As such, they are available as non-corrective; meaning the lenses don’t actually provide any type of magnification.  But what about people who need blue light protection and vision correcting lenses?  Not to worry, blue light readers are also available in standard vision correcting lenses, including prescription strengths.  

Because blue light readers are not considered prescription glasses, you can obtain a pair without a prescription.  This means you won’t need to make a trip to your optometrist’s office to purchase them.  You can grab a pair from a reputable website or high-end eyewear retailer.  They’re available in a plethora of frames so staying on-trend with your eyewear isn’t an issue.  

Are They Safe?  

Blue light glasses are completely safe for everyday wear.  Whether you wear them with non-prescriptive lenses or not, they will not interfere with your eyesight.  Blue light readers are helpful in reducing the amount of eye strain and fatigue you feel from starting at a screen for long periods of time.  If you’ve noticed your eyes feel strained or you’re beginning to get headaches from long periods spent looking at a computer, blue light readers can help minimize these effects and leave your eyes feeling rested and comfortable.  Additionally, wearing blue light readers offers you the safety of filtering blue light so your innermost eye is shielded from potential damage.  

If you’ve wondered if blue light readers are right for you, the answer is probably yes!  Blue light readers are safe, effective, and a great option for anyone who wants to protect their eyes against the blue light emitted from digital screens.