What Exactly Is Blue Light, and What Does It Do To Your Eyes? We Asked an Expert

Blue light-blocking glasses are becoming more and more of a thing, but what exactly do they do and what is blue light, anyway?

We had questions, so we sought out some answers. We spoke with Pixel Eyewear founder Ian Chen to get the inside scoop on blue light and the purpose it serves in our lives, and why it's a great idea to invest in a pair of glasses that block it.

Sweety High: What exactly is blue light? 

Ian Chen: Blue light is the part of the visible light spectrum that we can see with our eyes and identify as the color blue. Compared to other colors in the visible light spectrum, blue light has the shortest wavelengths and highest energy. It's everywhere around us, and it isn't necessarily bad. In fact, blue light helps us regulate our sleep-wake cycles when we're exposed to it at the right times, improving our alertness during the day and making us tired at night. It's more prevalent today than ever because on top of the natural blue light we get from the sun, we're getting exposed to artificial blue light whenever we look at a digital screen, TVs and office lights.

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SH: What negative effects can exposure to blue light have on us?

IC: Our eyes aren't designed to stare at a digital screen for hours on end. While using a digital device, our eyes are exposed to blue light for a prolonged period of time. This often results in eye strain, eye fatigue, blurry vision and headaches, also known as computer vision syndrome.

On top of the more immediate symptoms of eye strain and headaches, there are serious longterm effects of overexposure to blue light, especially at nighttime. Exposure to blue light at night will keep you awake by tricking your brain into believing it's daytime. This has a serious impact on your circadian rhythm and reduces your quality of sleep.

It's highly recommended to reduce your exposure to blue light two or more hours before bedtime. Beyond sleep disruption, studies have also shown that prolonged exposure has the potential to lead to macular degeneration and vision loss over sustained periods of time.


SH: How does certain lens technology, like Pixel Eyewear, filter out blue light?

IC: Pixel Eyewear focuses on filtering out the highest energy section of the blue light spectrum. This section of high energy blue light is the closest to ultraviolet light, which we know can cause long-term damage to our eyes. Pixel Eyewear filters up to 50% of the highest energy blue light to keep your eyes protected. Our unique lens technology allows us to keep the lenses virtually clear without a strong tint.

Our lenses also come with a premium anti-reflective coating that eliminates glare. Feedback from glare into the eyes is another major reason for eye strain and headaches. Our coatings do not have a distracting blue reflection that older blue light-filtering technology have. Our frames are made with high-grade cellulose acetate, allowing them to be lightweight and durable at the same time.

By filtering out the blue light, most people experience less eye strain and headaches while working on their computers and digital devices.

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SH: How long might it take to see the effects of using blue-light blocking glasses?

IC: Normally, our customers feel less eye strain and have fewer headaches within one to two hours of wearing our glasses while on a computer. For people who have never worn glasses before, it may take a couple of days to get used to the process of wearing glasses itself.


SH: How can someone decide whether blue light glasses work for them?

IC: The best way to see if blue light glasses are right for you is to test them out yourself. We offer risk-free trial where you can try out the glasses for 30 days, so you can feel the difference. You can easily return the glasses if they don't work for you.

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Ready to get your first pair of glasses? Click HERE to find out how to pick the right glasses for your face shape.