Ask a PT: Do Blue Light Blocking Glasses Work?

blue light blocking glassesWhen we decided to take on this question this month, we did not realize how expansive the answer would be. It appears at the moment, that there is not a lot of scientific evidence supporting the regular daytime use of blue light blocking glasses as a means to reduce eye strain, prevent macular degeneration, reduce headache/migraine frequency and intensity, and improve sleep quality.  However, as a physical therapist, I am always more interested on the impact of blue light on our nervous system, and for this, research is pending.

However, there are some things that the experts do suggest. To reduce eye strain with long-term daytime computer use, take breaks for 20 seconds, looking 20 feet away, every 20 minutes. Also remember to blink frequently, and use eye drops as needed to prevent dry eyes. To prevent neck strain and tension headaches, make sure your monitor and the line you are typing/looking at is at eye height in front of you, not too far away, and double check that you are not reaching forward for your mouse or leaning awkwardly on one arm rest all day.

Since we are more likely to encounter harmful UV rays outside than inside, be sure to wear protective eyewear outside during the daytime. And finally, if you like to use any device within one hour of bedtime, go ahead and purchase a blue light blocking pair of glasses to help prevent the blue light in your device (TV, computer, phone, Ipad) from reducing your serotonin production, but realize just having your device next to you may be just as stimulating and interruptive to your sleep (so just ditch the device altogether before bedtime). Can’t go without a device right up to bedtime? The blue light blocking glasses may help reduce the time it takes to get to sleep, and melatonin supplementation may help you sleep more soundly throughout the night.

Interested in more details? Check out this article in Business Weekly for more.