In Sight: Should You Wear Blue Light Glasses?

Do blue light glasses protect your eyes against macular degeneration? We examine the claims.

Woman wearing glasses at her computer as she works remotely from home. / Shutterstock

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We are seeing a surge of claims that blue light filtering (BLF) lenses protect the retina and reduce the likelihood of age-related macular degeneration. They are sometimes called computer glasses since they claim to prevent device-related eye strain that causes blurred vision, sleep disruption, headaches, and dry eyes.

Do they work? There’s little research to support the claims, although one study found that their use did not cause adverse effects. The American Academy of Ophthalmology reports that digital eye strain is not caused by blue light emitted from devices but rather by excessive screen time and proximity to the screen. If you suffer from sleep disturbances, you may want to limit screen time two hours before bedtime or turn on your device’s “night mode” setting. As for BLF lenses, there is little evidence to support their use to improve visual performance or ocular health.

—Francis W. Price Jr., M.D., is a world-renowned ophthalmologist and founder of the Cornea Research Foundation

This article is featured in the March/April 2021 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.

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