While you’re scrolling your Instagram feed at night, you’ve probably noticed two trends:
- Blue light is a really popular hashtag that trends with clear, stylish glasses modeled by influencers in front of their laptops; and
- Your eyes are seriously dry and tired.
Ironically, the two are connected. Blue light is a real thing, not just a trend, and it’s probably why your eyes are feeling strained and dry. Blue light blocking glasses are the solution for protecting your eyes against blue light exposure from electronic devices.
You know your friends at Stoggles are passionate about style (and comfort). But, we’re also passionate about all types of safety, including when it involves sitting in front of a blue-light emitting device.
Let’s talk about what blue light is, what it does, and which pair of blue light safety glasses are best.
WTH Is Blue Light?
Blue light is part of the visible light spectrum, which vibrates between 380-500 nanometers. Great. WTH does that even mean?
First, you need to understand the spectrum of light. The light spectrum is massive, and only a small little chunk of it is actually visible to the human eye. Rays of light begin with short, high-energy wavelengths that we cannot see. Examples of these are X-rays, gamma rays, and UV rays—aka ultraviolet light.
On the opposite end of the light spectrum are rays that are also not visible. They have long wavelengths and low energy. These are microwaves, radio waves, and the like.
In between UV rays and radio waves, the visible spectrum of light includes blue light rays. Blue light rays are some of the shortest wavelength and highest energy waves of visible light.
Where Does Blue Light Come From?
So just where is all this blue light coming from, and how is this artificial light impacting our health? Blue light has a range of sources, including the sun. Mostly, however, the blue light that is most concerning to researchers is the kind that is emitted from electronics and digital devices.
Blue light is emitted from fluorescent lights, compact fluorescent lightbulbs, or “CFLs,” and flat-screen LED televisions. Don’t have any of those devices in your home? How about a tablet, computer screen, or smartphone? Yep, those are all sources of blue light, too.
What Does Blue Light Do?
Before we completely vilify blue light, it’s important to understand that it does have some redeeming qualities. Blue light helps regulate our circadian rhythm, the pattern that governs how we sleep.
Blue light also helps improve mental alertness. When we see blue light, it helps with memory and cognitive function. Essentially, when we see blue light, it “wakes up” our brains and helps us work better and more diligently.
Natural light, like sunlight, helps us regulate melatonin (the sleep hormone) to keep our sleep/wake cycle regulated. However, the glare of blue light gets in the way of this process. Enter: blue light glasses.
Blue light is only effective when it is gathered by our body in a protected way. Unfortunately, our eyes simply cannot protect themselves from blue light.
The Negative Effects of Blue Light
Your eyes can’t filter out harmful blue light. That means that all the blue light emitted by your devices travels right through the lens of your eye and the cornea, directly into the retina, where vision happens.
Researchers are still studying the effects and dangers of blue light on your eyes. There are numerous possibilities for damage, including contribution to cataracts, eye cancer, and even macular degeneration.
Although more studies are needed to support the claims that blue light can seriously interfere with your eyesight and cause permanent damage to your retinal cells, there are aspects of blue light exposure we know are harmful.
Possibly the biggest reason why blue light can be so damaging is the discomfort it causes to our eyes in terms of digital eye strain and fatigue. Most of us spend more than a few hours per day in front of a blue light-emitting device. Hours of staring at a computer screen can cause eye strain, fatigue, dry eyes, and even tension headaches and migraines.
If you are exposed to blue light regularly, and for extended periods of time, your risk of developing these issues will be even higher. Some people even report blurry vision after using blue light emitting devices for long, uninterrupted periods.
Five Blue Light Safety Features You Need Right Now
If you’re in the market for safety glasses you should know that they’re now available with blue-light-blocking lenses. This is great not only for workers who wear their safety glasses outside their place of employment but for users who want a pair of safety glasses for home use.
You can kill two birds with one blue light blocking stone by grabbing safety glasses that have these five important features:
1. Blue Light Lenses
This one is given, but it’s important to find out how your safety glasses manufacturer makes your blue light lenses. They should be coated with a durable material that is long-wearing and lasting. Some less expensive versions have a cheap coating that wears off quickly, leaving you exposed to blue light without even knowing it.
2. Anti-Fog Lenses
Lenses that fog are never safe, and eventually, you’ll simply remove them, exposing your eyes to blue light and any other safety hazard nearby. Anti-fog lenses keep your lenses clear no matter what environment you’re in. Keep that lab work fab with an anti-fog coating.
3. ANSI Z87.1 Certification
For safety glasses, the ANSI seal is the gold standard for high-quality safety eyewear. It means your glasses have been impact-tested to ensure they will protect your eyes. It means they are shatter-proof and the frames are durable, so they won’t crack or break, exposing your eyes to hazards.
4. Side and Top Shields
Safety glasses should always have side and top shields to cover areas where normal glasses leave you exposed. The sides and tops of your glasses leave your eyes vulnerable. Shields attached to the sides and tops of your glasses prevent debris from entering your eye area.
5. UV Blocking
Safety glasses should block UV rays, just like they block blue light rays. UV rays can damage your eyes more severely than blue light, and it's important to be protected from both. Just so you know, all Stoggles glasses are made from polycarbonate, which is naturally UV blocking.
The Best Blue Light Blockers With Stoggles
Want to hit the easy button on buying blue light safety glasses? Choose Stoggles.
Our glasses (for kids and adults) meet all the five standard qualifications you need for effective blue light blocking safety glasses, and have the added bonus of being seriously stylish. Plus, they come with the magnification you need; we make our prescription glasses in-house.
There’s no reason you should have to choose between style and function, and with Stoggles, you never have to. Our glasses are modern, comfortable, seriously safe, and so aesthetically pleasing you’ll find yourself reaching for them more frequently than you expect.
Blue Light and Your Eyes|Prevent Blindness
Is Blue Light From Your Cell Phone Bad for Your Health?|Health.UCDavis.eduResearch progress about the effect and prevention of blue light on eyes|NCBI