One of the hottest trends in eyewear is blue light lenses. Available through popular eyewear retailers such as Warby Parker, Felix Gray and Quay — and proudly modeled by countless influencers — blue light glasses claim to alleviate dry eye symptoms that occur when looking at digital screens for prolonged periods of time. Sales are skyrocketing, as market research experts predict the global market for blue light glasses will surpass $27 million in 2024.
But are these blue light lenses really helpful for dry eye — or are they just hype? Laser Eye Center uncovers the truth about blue light lenses here.
Helpful or Hype?
The makers of blue light glasses claim the lenses protect eyes from blue light emitted by the digital devices we are surrounded by daily. Manufacturers contend that blue light is dangerous to our eyes and may contribute to dry eye symptoms, eye strain, headaches and loss of sleep.
In fact, there is no scientific data that shows blue light itself causes dry eye symptoms or other eye diseases. Overexposure to blue light before bedtime can interrupt your natural sleep cycle, so it is helpful to limit exposure before going to sleep. But ultimately, blue light lenses are not the magical cure-all for dry eye that your favorite influencer would have you believe.
Actually, it is how we use our digital devices that can lead to dry, tired or irritated eyes. Many people don’t blink enough when using a computer, tablet or smartphone. Blinking is important because it helps spread tears across the surface of the eyes. Staring at digital screens (or doing other near work activities like reading) can cut blink rate by as much as 50 percent, so it is no surprise that our eyes become less lubricated after a long day in front of the computer.
It is unrealistic to avoid screens altogether, especially in these unique times. But instead of trying to cure dry, tired eyes with blue light glasses, change your behavior when using digital devices. Make a concerted effort to blink more. Take frequent breaks to rest your eyes. Adjust the brightness and contrast of your screen and dim the surrounding lights.
If you continue to experience persistently dry, irritated eyes, get a comprehensive eye exam with a knowledgeable ophthalmologist. The exam could uncover other issues with your eyes, such as a deficiency in the quality or quantity of your tears. If that is the case, blue light lenses won’t solve the problem (no matter how trendy they are).
When you trust the team at Laser Eye Center, our experienced dry eye specialists can talk to you about science-based, effective treatments to restore moisture and comfort to your eyes.
We have seen incredible results with iLux for cases of meibomian gland dysfunction, which interferes with tear quality. This drug-free, drop-free procedure takes less than 10 minutes and can improve the tear film’s health by more than 50 percent within two weeks.
To request more information about the causes and treatments of dry eye disease, please contact Laser Eye Center today.