Clear Blue Light Blocking Glasses

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Want fashionable, clear blue light blocking glasses that won’t make you look like a member of NSYNC circa 1998? Here are my top picks.

Benefits of Blue Light Blocking glasses

Why Do You Need Blue Light Blocking Glasses?

You’ve probably spotted paleo peeps donning their yellow tinted blue-light blocking glasses these past few years…and with good reason.

Blue light is emitted by our phones, computers, TVs and other electronic gadgets. Fluorescent and LED light bulbs are also a source of it. While harmless in small amounts, it’s problematic when we’re overexposed to it. And in this day and age, we are constantly bombarded with it.

Anyone else stare at a screen for 8+ hours a day, with breaks to look at the little screen in their pocket, and then go home to watch another screen?!

Blue light blocking glasses can partially filter out blue light protecting our eyes from the damaging effects of it.

Once upon a time your only option for blue light blocking glasses was yellow lenses. Now, there are clear blue-light blocking glasses that look like normal glasses. So, you can shield your eyes from the dangers of blue light, without looking like you dressed up as a 90’s boy band member.

What is Blue Light?

Blue light is the visible light spectrum with the shortest wavelength and highest energy, and similar to ultraviolet rays, blue light has both benefits and dangers. 

Sunlight is the main source of blue light. Traditionally, we were primarily exposed to it when we were outdoors during daylight hours.

But, now, there are many man-made sources of it, including fluorescent and LED lighting, smart phones, iPads, and flat-screen televisions. So, we’re exposed to it even when we’re inside and worse, even in the evening.

Blue light signals daytime to our bodies, suppressing melatonin production, which prepares our body for bed. This is why it’s especially important to either shut off electronic devices 2-3 hours before bed, or use blue-light blocking glasses during that time. 

Blue Light Benefits

Not all blue light is bad, and we do need some exposure to the sun/blue light for good health.

The benefits of blue light include:

  • boosts alertness, helps memory and cognitive function and elevates mood.
  • regulates our circadian rhythm, which is like our body’s internal clock that determines our natural wake and sleep cycle. Exposure to blue light during the day helps maintain a healthful circadian rhythm. Too much exposure to blue light late at night (through TV, phones, tablets, and computers) can disturb the circadian rhythm, leading to problems sleeping and fatigue during the day.

The Dangers of Blue Light

Overexposure to blue light can lead to:

  • digital eye strain: if you’ve ever felt bleary eyed after a long day sitting at the computer, you’ve experienced digital eye strain. Your eyes may feel sore, painful, itchy, watery, or blurry.
  • headaches: because blue light is absorbed deeper in the eye, it can provoke headaches and migraines.
  • may increase risk of macular degeneration later in life: There’s some research to suggest that blue light can permanently damage our eyesight. We do know that blue light penetrates all the way to our retina (the inner lining of the back of our eye). Research has shown that too much exposure to blue light can damage the light sensitive cells in this part of our eye. This causes changes similar to those of macular degeneration, which can lead to permanent vision loss. (1)
  • trouble falling asleep: blue light disrupts our circadian rhythm, particularly when we’re exposed to it within 2-3 hours of bed time. A disrupted circadian rhythm and poor sleep can lead to other issues, including weight gain and hormonal imbalances. Sleep is also the time that our body and brain detoxes naturally – so without it, we are allowing toxins to build up.
    • A small study published in the journal Chronobiology International found that when healthy young adults were exposed to blue light from computer screens between the hours of 9-11 p.m, it:
      1. shortened their total sleep time
      2. significantly suppressed melatonin production
      3. diminished sleep quality, by increasing the frequency of nighttime awakenings. (2
    • Harvard researchers and their colleagues conducted an experiment comparing the effects of 6.5 hours of exposure to blue light to exposure to green light of comparable brightness. The blue light suppressed melatonin (a hormone we produce to get ready for sleep) for about twice as long as the green light. It shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much (3 hours vs. 1.5 hours) (3)
  • research suggests it *may* contribute to the causation of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity:
    • The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified night shift work as probably carcinogenic to humans. There is evidence pointing to an association between exposure to artificial light at night, particularly blue light, and the disruption of the circadian rhythm, and higher risk of breast and prostate cancers. A study performed by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health suggests that people exposed to higher levels of blue light had a 1.5 and 2-fold higher risk of developing breast and prostate cancer, respectively, as compared to the less-exposed population. (4)

The Benefits of Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Blue light blocking glasses have been studied for their efficacy to reduce the dangers of overexposure to blue light, and they have been found to be a highly effective and inexpensive remedy.

Blue light blocking glasses may:

  • reduce digital eye strain and digitally-caused headaches: Personally, I feel the difference immediately when I put on blue light blocking glasses when I work on the computer or watch TV on a plane. My eyes feel instantly calmer, and don’t hurt or get red, itchy, watery, or blurry, which happens often when I work on my computer all day but don’t use them. Since you can get fashionable, clear blue light blocking glasses for less than $30, it’s worth a try to see for yourself. 
  • improve sleep: In a study published in PLOS One, researchers found that wearing blue light blocking glasses while working at the computer reduced melatonin suppression by about 6%. (5) That means, if you’re wearing blue-light blocking glasses while working on your computer or staring at your phone right before bed, you’ll have a slightly easier time falling asleep then if you didn’t use the glasses. 

The Most Fashionable Blue Light Blocking Glasses

If you want to be more discrete than the paleo bio-hackers wearing yellow glasses, I suggest the clear glasses below. My favorite brand has a variety of different styles for just $30 (and J.Lo is a fan!)

They look like regular glasses so you can wear them to the office, on the train, planes, and anywhere you want to block blue light without anyone mistaking you for Joey Fatone. 🙂

The Headliner

Fashionable Blue Light Blocking glasses

($29.95) Get them here. 

The Alchemist

Fashionable nerdy Clear Blue Light Blocking glasses

I bought these after seeing J.Lo wear them and look incredibly nerd-chic. 

 

($29.95) Get them here. 

The Angelou

nerd Clear Blue Light Blocking glasses

I love the tortoise-shell plastic top but plain rimmed bottom.  

($29.95) Get them here. 

The Maestro

Black Frame Clear Blue Light Blocking glasses

A simple black frame that is universally flattering.

($29.95) Get them here. 

Check out this site for more clear blue light blocking glasses at under $30.

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