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Do Sunglasses Block Blue Light?

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A male and female senior with their sunglasses on to protect their eyes from UV lights while enjoying the sun at the beach.

Sunglasses aren’t just a fashion accessory. All year-round wear can protect your eyes from the sun, wind, and dust in the air. They also come in prescription, non-prescription, polarized, non-polarized, and anti-glare. 

And as we all know, the primary function of sunglasses is to protect our eyes from harmful UV rays. Protecting your eyes with sunglasses from an early age can help to prevent eye conditions such as cataracts, eye growths, and eye cancer later in life.

But can sunglasses block blue light? Some sunglasses shades or lens tints can filter blue light. Keep reading as we discuss blue light, its sources, and ways to protect your eyes from blue light, including:

  • Reducing screen time
  • Using blue light filters on your devices
  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule
  • Adjust your lighting
  • Wear blue light glasses
  • Optimize your screen set-up
  • Visit your eye doctor

What Is Blue Light?

All colors in the visible light spectrum have different wavelengths and energy levels. Combined, it makes white light or sunlight. Blue light has a short, high-energy wavelength compared to other colors. 

The main source of blue light is from the sun. High amounts of blue light in other sources include fluorescent and LED (light-emitting diode) light bulbs and digital devices such as:

  • Flat-screen televisions
  • Computers and laptop screens
  • Cell phones
  • Tablets

The Effects of Blue Light on Your Eyes

Parts of your eye, such as the cornea and lens, protect your retina, which is light-sensitive. But it can’t protect the eyes from blue light. 

Even though more research is needed, exposure to blue light can cause damage to the retina and lead to symptoms such as:

Can Sunglasses Block Blue Light?

Almost all sunglasses protect your eyes by filtering out UV radiation, reducing glare, and blocking blue light when outdoors. However, not all sunglasses effectively reduce blue light from digital screens. 

The amount of UV filtration depends on the lens tint. Lenses with orange, yellow, copper, dark amber, or brown shades, work well outdoors and indoors to filter out blue light.

Speak to your eye doctor to choose the right color lens for your sunglasses. 

A boy is wearing blue-light eyeglasses to protect his eyes while he is on his computer.

How to Protect Your Eyes from Blue Light

Blue light exposure has the following benefits:

  • Boosts alertness
  • Help with memory and brain function
  • Elevates mood and improves depression
  • Regulates the body’s natural sleep and wake cycle

Benefits aside, constant or overexposure to blue light from digital devices can cause concern, such as long hours spent in front of screens and screens too close to the eyes. But there are ways to reduce these damaging effects of blue light:

Wear Sunglasses When Outdoors

Wear high-quality sunglasses that block almost 100% of UV radiation and up to 90% of visible light.

Reduce Screen Time

Limit screen time, especially at night, and avoid screens at least an hour before bed.

Blue Light Filters

Blue-light filters for computer, smartphone, and tablet screens are inexpensive options and can reduce emitted blue light. One study showed a screen protector decreased the intensity of blue light from 30% to 60%. 

Follow the 20-20-20 Rule

You can forget to take regular breaks or blink more often when spending long periods in front of a computer. To reduce the effects of digital eye strain, incorporate breaks by following the 20-20-20 rule. Take a 20-second break every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away. 

Adjust Lighting

You can adjust the lighting in the room to match the digital screen brightness. Computers have options to control lighting and glare. Smartphones have built-in dark or night modes that you can set at certain times of the day to filter out blue light. 

Other Glasses

Blue light-blocking glasses or computer glasses with yellow or orange-tinted lenses can help block blue light. Use sunglasses with an anti-reflective coating for added protection from blue light from screens and the sun. 

Screen Setup

Position your computer screen a few inches below eye level. Screens placed an arm’s length away from the eyes can reduce blue light exposure. 

Visit Your Eye Doctor

Because of the uptick in the usage of digital devices by adults and children, there’s more reason now to visit your eye doctor in San Diego for regular comprehensive eye exams

Sunglasses for Eye Protection

Blue light from the sun is far greater than the amount from devices. However, light absorbed from screens occurs at a much closer proximity compared to light absorbed from the sun. 

To maintain or improve your eye health and vision and protect against the harmful effects of blue light, contact the optometrists at Total Vision Sports Arena. Our optical team can help you choose the right eyewear for indoor and outdoor blue light protection.

Written by Total Vision

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