Jury still out on effectiveness of blue light glasses

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Abby Wolf staff writer

The fatigue students are feeling due to consistently staring at their devices for school has led to students using blue light glasses

Blue light glasses are advertised as being beneficial for reducing eye strain, headaches and other forms of fatigue felt from the blue light emitted from devices. 

“After a long day of school, my eyes start to sting because of how much screen time I have,” sophomore Sadie Ware said. 

Students also explained that, to them, one of the only beneficial ways to get rid of this fatigue is spending time away from their devices. 

“I’ve experienced severe eye strain during online school. It’s resulted in headaches and dry eyes, which is only eased by long periods of time spent away from any screen,” sophomore Rachel Kohley said. 

Ware also explained that she uses the same technique to reduce fatigue. 

“After school is over I get up from where I’m working and don’t look at screens for [around] 20 minutes and just do other things away from my device,” Ware said. 

Although students have resorted to blue light glasses with the hopes of curing these pains, it is controversial as to if they actually work.

“Anecdotally they work, but based on research it has not been proven to help in terms of reducing fatigue or…eye strain,” optometrist Dr. Esther Chen said. 

Research may not show that it reduces eye strain and other symptoms students are feeling, but it has been proven to help with sleep.

“If you do use the blue light filter, it does help promote better sleep, especially if you are using it two to three hours before you go to bed,” Chen said.

Chen explained that the best ways to reduce the symptoms are using a blue light filter found on your device.

“I would recommend to parents, they can…put on the blue light filter…[and] that does help a little bit if you are concerned about it affecting sleep,” Chen said. 

Chen also emphasized using a tactic known as the 20-20-20 rule.

“Every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break from what you’re doing up close, and look at something 20 feet away,” Chen said.

“After school is over I get up from where I’m working and don’t look at screens for [around] 20 minutes and just do other things away from my device,” Ware said. 

Overall, Chen believes that although blue light may cause some temporary discomfort, it will not do permanent damage in the long run. 

“So far, [studies] have not found anything conclusive that says…[blue light] will damage our vision,” Chen said. “As far as we know, if you don’t [use] the blue light, you’ll be okay.” 

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