The science behind blue light-blocking glasses

The science behind blue light-blocking glasses

Modern technology has made life easier in many ways. But at the same time, it has introduced many new things that can harm our health in various ways. Take smartphones, for instance. These small devices have made long-distance communication possible in a way traditional telephones could not. Smartphones also provide access to the Internet, making them a great source of entertainment and reliable business tools for many.

But in exchange for making things convenient, smartphones require people to spend a substantial amount of time staring at a digital screen. While this doesn’t sound like such a bad thing to do, its impact on your health is actually quite massive. You’d be surprised how much harm a small piece of technology, such as an LED screen, can cause. And you can blame its negative effects on something emitted by all digital screens: blue light.

Blue light and why it’s harmful

Light is composed of energy-emitting particles that travel in waves. These waves, which vary in length, make up the electromagnetic spectrum and are represented by different colors. Our eyes can only see what belongs to the visible end of this spectrum, which is represented by the colors: violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red. [1]

Light rays with longer wavelengths belong to the red end of the visible light spectrum. These rays emit less energy than those at the blue end. Blue light rays, on the other hand, have shorter wavelengths that range from 380 to 500 nanometers (nm). They also produce high amounts of energy. About one-third of all visible light is actually high-energy visible light, or blue light.

Aside from ultraviolet (UV) rays, which belong to the invisible part of the electromagnetic spectrum, sunlight also contains various shades of red, yellow, green and blue light rays. As sunlight travels through the atmosphere, the particles that make up high-energy, short-length waves collide with air molecules, causing blue light to scatter everywhere. In case you’re wondering why the sky is blue – THIS is the answer. [2]

The human body relies on components of sunlight for various things. For instance, your skin needs to be exposed to Ultraviolet B (UVB) before it can produce vitamin D. Without the help of UVB photons, your body cannot convert the vitamin D precursor, 7-dehydrocholesterol, to vitamin D3. [3] Your body also makes use of natural blue light from the sun to regulate your sleep-wake cycle or circadian rhythm.

You can think of your circadian rhythm as a set of physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. [4] These changes are part of the non-visual effects exerted by light on the brain. While all types of visible light can affect your circadian rhythm, research shows that blue light has the largest impact among them. [5]

According to a study published in the Journal of Biophotonics, blue light is mainly responsible for synchronizing your biological clock to the solar 24-hour cycle. This synchronization is extremely important for maintaining optimal health because it affects brain function, mood and sleep quality. People whose sleep-wake patterns are not in-sync with the night and day cycle are more likely to develop psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases, according to studies. [6]

The timing of your exposure to blue light and its intensity are two things that determine whether you’ll benefit from or suffer because of it. While being exposed to natural blue light – the one that comes from the sun – can increase your alertness and help your brain perform optimally, chronic exposure to low-intensity blue light – such as that emitted by modern devices – before bedtime can negatively affect your sleep quality and cause your circadian rhythm to get out of sync.

In the retina of your eye, there exists a population of nerve cells called retinal ganglion cells that are extremely sensitive to blue light. Recent studies show that these cells help regulate your brain’s responses to light. One particular study published in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences reported that these responses are observed in regions of the brain responsible for alertness, fear and stress responses, hormone regulation, emotional responses, appetite regulation, physiological cycles and behavior. [7]

When blue light reaches the retina, retinal ganglion cells are stimulated to produce a photopigment called melanopsin. This protein suppresses the production of melatonin, the hormone released by your pineal gland at night to promote sleep. This is why exposure to artificial blue light at night can mess with your sleep and wake cycle. According to a study published in BMC Research Notes, artificial blue light not only decreases your sleepiness at night, but it also reduces your alertness the following day. [8]

A Harvard study also found that disruptions to your circadian rhythm can increase your risk of diabetes and obesity. [9] Besides raising your blood sugar, an out-of-sync body clock also causes your leptin levels to go down. Leptin is the hormone that makes you feel full after a meal; low leptin levels can cause you to overeat, which can put you at risk of becoming overweight or obese.

When you’re overweight or obese, your heart has to work harder to keep your circulation going. This puts a lot of strain on your blood vessels, which respond to it by resisting the flow of blood. As a consequence, your blood pressure goes up. High blood pressure can eventually damage your blood vessels and cause heart disease. [10] All these events can be triggered by chronic exposure to artificial blue light from smartphones, tablets, TV screens, computers or laptops, fluorescent bulbs and LED lights, especially at night.

Protecting your health with blue light-blocking glasses

Besides your metabolic health, your eyes also need protection from the harmful effects of artificial blue light. Thanks to the shorter wavelengths of blue light rays, they flicker more easily than rays with longer wavelengths. This flickering creates a glare that many experts believe to be the cause of headaches, eye strain and physical and mental fatigue commonly associated with staring at LED screens for hours.

Although your eyes are equipped with natural light filters, these are not enough to protect your retina from the irreversible damage caused by the combination of natural and artificial blue light. [11] Retinal damage can cause visual problems that can ultimately lead to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is a progressive eye disease and is the leading cause of permanent vision loss in people aged 50 and above. [12][13]

Today, eliminating all sources of artificial blue light from your life is a tall order. Digital devices that emit blue light have become such integral parts of our everyday life that it’s impossible to avoid them completely. If you’re one of the many people who spend long hours in front of a digital screen to make a living, the best thing that you can do to prevent artificial blue light from wreaking havoc on your health is to reduce your exposure to it. Eyewear designed to block blue light from entering your retina can help you achieve this.

Groovy Bee Blue Light Blocking Glasses are protective eyewear specially designed to filter out artificial blue light emitted by digital devices without affecting your vision. These high-quality glasses are fitted with special lenses that provide superior visual clarity and protection from digital eye strain. According to a study published in the journal PLoS One, removing the blue component of artificial light sources is an effective way of protecting your eyes from photodamage that can lead to visual problems and eventual loss of vision. [14]

By blocking blue light from entering your eyes, Groovy Bee Blue Light Blocking Glasses can help prevent the stimulation of retinal ganglion cells responsible for suppressing the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin. If you can’t put away your phone or avoid any source of artificial blue light before bedtime, wearing our blue light-blocking glasses can help ensure that your digital activities won’t affect your sleep quality or disrupt your circadian rhythm.

Groovy Bee Blue Light Blocking Glasses are expertly made in Taiwan and can block even UVA and UVB rays for maximum eye protection. They feature a simple and sleek design with non-slip nose pads that ensure they stay comfortably in place no matter how long you wear them. Our high-quality blue light-blocking glasses are lightweight, provide effective contrast between red and blue objects, and are registered as medical devices with the FDA. They are also windproof, waterproof, shockproof and offer the following benefits:

  • They support healthy sleeping patterns
  • They provide great all-around protection
  • They support good eye health
  • They prevent tired eyes and digital eye strain

The Health Ranger Store offers three varieties of blue light-blocking glasses. You can choose between our original Groovy Bee Blue Light Blocking Amber Glasses, which are designed for outdoor use, or right before bed; Groovy Bee Unbreakable Indoor Blue Light Blocking Glasses (Tea Tint), which are designed for daytime indoor reading and viewing of digital devices; and Groovy Bee Flexible Frame Indoor Blue Light Blocking Glasses (Yellow Tint), which are suitable for use indoors, especially in dim environments. All three products are tested and validated to be capable of blocking 100% of blue light ranging from 410 nm to 470 nm.

Protect yourself from the harmful effects of blue light overexposure with our high-quality blue light-blocking glasses!

Note: Groovy Bee Blue Light Blocking Glasses are not designed to fit over prescription glasses.