What is blue light?
We’ve all found ourselves tired and irritable during the workday. Sitting for long hours staring at our computer screens, can leave us tense, unfocused and sometimes with a pounding headache. And it’s not just because your co-worker Dave asked you to buy cupcakes from his kid’s school bake sale for the ninth time – it’s also from something called blue light. Blue light may sound pretty innocent, but without using some kind of blue light blocker, it's actually pretty bad for us.
What we see – the visible spectrum of light – consists of a range of colors, from blue-violet on the lower end to red on the higher end. Light on the lowest end of the visible spectrum has the shortest wavelengths; light on the highest end has the longest wavelengths. Since shorter wavelengths emit more energy, blue light is also known as High Energy Visible (HEV) light. This is what’s filtered out by blue light glasses.
What we see – the visible spectrum of light – consists of a range of colors, from blue-violet on the lower end to red on the higher end.
How are we exposed to HEV or blue light?
We all know the dangers of sun exposure. That glorious bright sunny day that most of us love is the primary culprit in blue light exposure. But even those who would rather stay indoors watching Netflix or playing video games are not safe from blue light because we're also exposed to "unnatural" blue light from our smartphones, TVs, computer screens, and artificial lighting. Although our digital devices emit only a fraction of the HEV light emitted from the sun, the number of hours we spend using our devices can have both an immediate and a cumulative effect on our health.
Should we be concerned about blue light exposure?
The short answer is yes. Blue light is a bit like salt, our bodies need it but our modern diet of processed food has us eating enough to make it harmful. So while exposure to blue light does have some positive benefits, our modern digital world has overexposed us to it. Blue light glasses help reduce harmful overexposure.
Blue light regulates our circadian rhythm, also known as the sleep/wake cycle. Basically, it's how our bodies know when to go to sleep and when to wake up. It’s not just our coffee and energy drinks that perk us up in the morning; blue light from the sun is responsible for increased energy and wakefulness. Sounds good right? Well here comes the negative – our habit of checking our emails before bed or falling asleep in front of the TV can disrupt our natural sleep patterns by unnaturally exposing us to blue light at night. Wearing blue light blocking glasses is an effective way to reclaim a good night’s sleep.
How does blue light affect our sleep?
There are a lot of factors in our busy lives that can affect our sleep. Obvious things like stress over a presentation or an exam, worrying about money, babies crying or cats throwing up hairballs can cause sleeplessness or interrupt a good night’s rest. What we may not realize is that exposure to blue light can be a sneaky cause as well. Blue light suppresses the body’s secretion of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness. Though blue light is present in the sun’s rays during the day, it is less pronounced around dusk, which is why sunsets tend to appear red. The lack of blue light in the evening allows the body to produce melatonin freely, signaling that it is time to prepare for sleep. Exposure to blue light from electronic devices or artificial lighting after the sun has gone down can disrupt our circadian rhythm, making it harder to fall asleep or get a good night’s rest.
Medical studies suggest that prolonged exposure to blue light may cause permanent damage to our eyes. We've all experienced digital eye strain from staring at a computer screen for long periods of time. And these days it's even more pronounced, as we spend a significant portion of our workday looking at our smartphones, tablets, computer screens. Even while relaxing, we play video games, read on a tablet, or watch TV. All of these activities expose us to artificial blue light.
How does blue light cause eye strain?
Our eyes are not built for our modern digital world. The eye's cornea and lens aren't good at filtering HEV light from reaching our retina, the thin layer of light-receiving tissue that lines the back of the eye. Over time, this can cause damage to its light-sensitive cells. As we age, this damage can make us more susceptible to eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Young children are even more sensitive to blue light exposure since the lens of their eyes are even more transparent than adults, allowing more HEV light to pass through.
A scientific explanation is because High Energy Visible (HEV) light has such a short wavelength, it scatters in the eye, reducing contrast and making it difficult to focus. Over time, our eyes begin to feel tired. It can also cause pain in or around the eyes, blurred vision, headache, or sometimes even double vision.
Some helpful tips.
To protect your eyes and maintain a healthy sleep schedule, you should:
- Expose yourself to natural daylight
- Whenever possible, take frequent breaks from viewing devices
- Protect your eyes in daylight using sunglasses
- Avoid the use of digital devices right before bedtime
- Protect your eyes from excess artificial blue light with blue light blocking computer glasses
Cue the theme song from any movie with a good guy on a horse….because we have developed the best blue light blocking glasses on the market and we’re here to help.
PROSPEK Blue Light Blocking Glasses
PROSPEK blue light glasses use a patented, multi-layer coating design to reduce glare, reflect blue light away from the lens and relieve long-term eye strain caused by excessive electronic device use. This specialized coating provides:
- Reduced glare
- Reduction of blue light
Whether you are looking for computer glasses for the office or a late night Netflix binge, PROSPEK glasses will give you premium protection for your eyes.
PROSPEK blue light glasses come in two types of lenses – 50% blue light blocking or 99% blue light blocking. It's a matter of preference, but here are some guidelines:
PROSPEK-50 Blue Light Glasses
- Ideal for mid-day use when blue light has less of an effect
- Lenses have a very subtle yellow tint to look stylish and more like regular glasses
- Allows more of the visible light spectrum so that colors look more natural
- Blocks 50% of blue light (the harmful blue light range)
- Excellent for everyday use as computer glasses
- PROSPEK-50 is also available in a prescription glasses option
PROSPEK-99 Blue Light Glasses
- Ideal for late night use when blue light has a detrimental effect on our sleep
- Tints everything yellow and increases contrast
- Ideal for people that are very sensitive to blue light
- Blocks 99% of harmful blue light
- Maximum blue blocker protection