Over the past few years, we have become increasingly aware of the harmful effects of staring at computer screens and phones all day can cause.
There are a variety of issues everyone should consider. Spending too much time online, especially social media, has been shown to be detrimental to our mental health. This is why we have seen many phones and apps introduce digital well-being features that help us reduce the addictive behaviour that can develop with our online habits.
For years, we have also known the light from our screens can have other detrimental effects. Some people can develop headaches, and screen time is associated with reduced quality of sleep.
How Blue Lift Affects Your Eyes
The negative effects of blue light are extensive, and it is something everyone should consider trying to reduce. These include:
- Digital eyestrain: Can cause sore or irritated eyes and difficulty focusing.
- Retina damage: Studies suggest that continued exposure to blue light over time could lead to damaged retinal cells and can cause vision issues such as age-related macular degeneration.
- Poor Sleep: Blue light affects the circadian rhythm or sleep cycle. It signals your brain to wake up when it should be winding down and prevents the release of melatonin. Ideally, you want to switch off digital devices 3 hours before bedtime, something that few people are capable of doing. Blue light glasses would therefore minimise these issues.
- Mental Health: Nighttime exposure to blue light was linked to depressive symptoms in animal studies. But exposure to blue light during the day may have the opposite effect, and it is used to treat seasonal affective disorder. The mental health issues are likely similar to how blue light negatively affects our sleep.
- Cancer: There has been one study that found that people who work the night shift are at greater risk for breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers.
- Increased risk for children: Blue light can be more harmful to children as they don’t filter out the blue light as well as adults. Too much of it from device screens may raise their chances of developing obesity, near-sightedness, and attention focusing issues.
Sources: Harvard.edu & Webmd
Blue Light Filters for Devices
Many companies offer screen protectors and plastic films that can be applied to our devices which reduce the harmful blue light. These can be cost-effective, but the supported devices are limited, and most people use multiple devices, including phones, laptops, and tablets.
Therefore, blue light glasses are the best overall solution for all-day blue light reduction.
I have previously reviewed the Ocushield blue light glasses before, and I did find them useful for reducing eye strain sat at my desk all day. However, they felt quite cheap, making the £60 RRP seem quite high. There is also no option for prescription lenses.
There are many competing options on Amazon, but again none of these offers prescription lenses, and I would assume all the cheap ones are equally low quality.
Prescription Blue Light Glasses
If you need prescription lenses, you will have to go use a specialist website or go directly to the opticians. Many places now offer to have the prescription lens treated with a blue light filter.
SmartBuyGlasses is one of the cheapest options I have found for prescription blue light glasses. At the time of writing, they have options for as low as £25 and going up to £386 for some Tom Ford sunglasses. While they have a page dedicated to blue light glasses, all of the glasses on the site can have the zFORT blue light block filter applied to them.
If you are ordering a prescription lens, they offer distance and reading lenses included in the price. Then progressive lenses are an additional £79.
For the lens itself, they provide a basic 1.5 index lens with no thinning and no coating within the cost. Then For an additional £39, a gold lens will offer a thinner 1.61 lens that is scratch-resistant, antireflective and protects from UV 400.
The top of the range Platinum lenses only cost £79 and they are Ultra Thin 1.74, being up to 60% thinner than normal lenses. They are aspheric lenses which are flatter & give a move natural vision with reduced ‘magnification’ effect – this lets your own eyes look more natural in size to others. You then get a scratch-resistant, antireflective, UV4000 and superhydrophobic coating.
Finally, the zFORT blue light coating is free of charge, or there are options to have any pair of glasses made as sunglasses with options for tint (£15), polarisation (£49) or mirror (£19) and also a transition option for £129.
It is worth noting that blue light is good for us, so if you are looking for prescription blue light glasses, you will ideally use these just for when you are working in front of a screen for a long time or in the evening. However, thanks to SmartBuyGlasses, you can have a pair of these glasses for an affordable price.