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Do Sunglasses Block Blue Light?

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Do Sunglasses Block Blue Light?

Smiling young woman wearing sunglasses in front of a brick building.

Blue light has become a term that’s just as likely to come up at the eye doctor’s office as in a tech store. Exposure to this form of lighting comes from digital screens like our phones and T.V.s; it’s also present in natural sunlight. 

While all sunglasses are made to shield your eyes from UV rays, some come with lenses designed to block blue light.

What is Blue Light?

Blue light is a high-energy, short-wavelength light that is part of the visible light spectrum, which ranges from about 380 to 500 nanometers. It is naturally emitted by the sun and artificial sources like LED screens, computer monitors, and smartphones. Exposure to blue light during the daytime can boost alertness and improve mood. In turn, excessive exposure, especially at night, can disrupt our sleep patterns and may lead to eye strain. 

Do I Need to be Worried About Blue Light?

The primary cause of concern for blue light from electronics is how it affects our sleep patterns. This type of light plays a significant role in regulating our circadian rhythm — the body’s internal clock. Excessive exposure can disrupt this pattern and interrupt melatonin production, making it harder to fall asleep and reducing overall quality of sleep. Furthermore, poor sleep can lead to eye discomfort and can impact the health of your eyes.

Blue light from the sun has been linked to an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). However, current research has not established a definitive connection between blue light exposure from electronic devices and the development of AMD.

Can Sunglasses Block Blue Light?

Yes, certain sunglasses can block blue light, and they’re becoming increasingly popular. This accessory is equipped with a special coating or lens materials that filters out blue light while allowing other, less harmful light through. This can be particularly beneficial for those who spend time outdoors or are constantly on their screens. 

How to Choose the Right Sunglasses for Blue Light Protection

When selecting sunglasses that block blue light, there are a few key factors to keep in mind:

  • Check the Label. Ensure the sunglasses mention blue light-blocking capabilities.
  • Look for UV Protection. Though it’s okay to focus on blue light, don’t forget that the primary role of sunglasses is to protect against UV rays.
  • Consider Lens Color. Different lens colors can affect how well blue light is blocked. Amber or yellow lenses are particularly good at filtering blue light.
  • Comfort and Fit. Make sure the sunglasses fit well and are comfortable to wear for extended periods.

By considering these factors, you can find a pair of sunglasses that provide proficient UV and blue light protection, helping to keep your eyes comfortable and healthy.

Can Polarized Lenses Block Blue Light?

Polarized lenses are fantastic for reducing glare by filtering out horizontal light waves, making them a favourite for driving and outdoor activities. Some polarized sunglasses come with blue light-blocking technology, but it’s important to check if this feature is included. If reducing your blue light exposure is a priority, look for lenses specifically marketed as blue light blockers.

Are There Other Ways to Protect Against Blue Light?

While sunglasses can be a stylish and convenient way to protect against blue light, they aren’t the only option. You can also consider investing in a blue light filter for your devices, which helps reduce the amount of blue light emitted from screens. Additionally, adjusting your screen’s brightness and using dark mode can also help minimize exposure.

Another simple yet effective solution is to take regular breaks from screens altogether by incorporating the 20-20-20 rule – every 20 minutes, take a break and look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This gives our eyes a much-needed rest and can prevent the discomfort of eye strain

Should I Wear Sunglasses While Working on a Computer?

Sunglasses can darken your view considerably, which may not be ideal indoors. A better alternative might be specially designed blue light lenses that mitigate blue light without affecting visibility.

Finding the Right Eyewear

At Calgary Family Eye Doctors, we’re dedicated to understanding your concerns and providing solutions that work for you and your loved ones. Our curated eyewear collection is tailored to meet the needs of adults, office workers, parents, and children.

Choosing the right eyewear is more than a fashion statement; it’s about your eye health and comfort. We’re here to help you find a pair that works for your needs and keeps your vision clear. Contact us today to book an appointment.

Written by
Dr. Chelsea Gerlitz

Dr. Gerlitz was born and raised in Calgary, earning her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alberta. After graduation, Dr. Gerlitz went on to study Optometry at the University of Waterloo. In her final year of study, Dr. Gerlitz interned with ophthalmologists in Florida as part of her Ocular Disease and Therapeutics rotation. This experience inspired Dr. Gerlitz’s passion for managing conditions such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and dry eye.

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Dr. Chelsea Gerlitz

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