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Antiradiation glasses work to deter certain lights from the eyes to avoid damage. These have become increasingly popular lately as people who work primarily on computers are trying to protect their eyes from potential impairment.
What are the pros, cons, and alternatives to antiradiation glasses? Antiradiation glasses protect users’ eyes from damaging lights that can come from overexposure to screens.
Looking at computer screens can be very harmful to the health of our eyes, luckily by wearing lenses that block these lights, you can more effectively avoid headaches and reduced eyesight. They should primarily be worn after the sun has gone down as blue light can affect sleep patterns.
The use of antiradiation, or blue light blocking, glasses has increased recently as people have been careful of protecting their eyes from harmful blue lights.
There are some benefits to using the glasses, but before buying some you should also be aware of the cons. In this article, we will cover the pros and cons of blue light glasses and cover some alternatives.
Why Do You Need Antiradiation Glasses?
Antiradiation glasses are often referred to as blue light-blocking glasses because blue light is one that is very harsh on the eyes that is emitted from screens. For those who work on computers or other screens for a good majority of their day, it is common to see a decline in vision over time requiring the use of prescription glasses.
Blue light is a tone of light that is visible to the human eye and ranges from 380 nm to 500 nm. This accounts for about one-third of all visible light and is termed high energy visible (HEV) or blue light. This light is everywhere as sunlight is the main source of it, in fact, blue light is what makes the sky look blue to the human eye.
The majority of our exposure to this light is during the time we spend outdoors but can also be from manmade sources. Most commonly, from fluorescent and LED lighting. Another common way to receive blue light is from flat-screen televisions, computer screens, smartphones, and other digital devices. However, these emit a fraction of what the sun emits.
Exposure to this HEV light can also increase the frequency of symptoms such as headaches, sore eyes, fatigue, eye dryness, and fever. This is all attributed to the light and frequencies that are emitted from technology. This is where antiradiation glasses come in handy.
The Pros of Antiradiation Glasses
One reason these glasses are so popular is for working on screens at nighttime. The lights that radiate out of televisions, computers, and cell phones can trick the brain into thinking it is still daytime. In turn, the body does not secrete melatonin which is a hormone that aids the body in going to sleep.
By using blue-blocking glasses, you may see as high as a 58% increase in nighttime melatonin levels when compared to not using any blue light blocking glasses during nighttime screen exposure. This is a major reason that people will get antiradiation glasses both with and without their prescriptions added to the lenses.
If you spend hours in front of a screen every day, the use of these glasses prevents eye strain and can aid in protecting the eyes years down the line. Blue light damage can be cumulative and impact the eyes much later on in your life. By utilizing blue light blocking glasses consistently, you may be improving your eyesight for years to come.
The eye is very unsuccessful in blocking harmful blue light on its own, so using glasses can block the light from passing through the cornea and lens and reaching all the way into the retina. By decreasing exposure, you decrease your chances of developing macular degeneration which can lead to permanent vision loss.
Using blue light blocking glasses is going to be important for those who have recently undergone cataract surgery.
Antiradiation Glasses and Mental Illness
In addition to protecting the health of the eyes, blue light glasses have been successful in reducing mania symptoms in those with bipolar disorder. For those who used glasses to block harsh lights between 6 pm and 8 pm for a duration of seven days, relief in bipolar symptoms was observed. This is in comparison to those who wore clear glasses.
This study saw that there were improvements starting just three nights into wearing the glasses. This can be explained by looking at the anatomy of the brain. There are receptors in our eyes that detect only blue light, these receptors communicate with the hypothalamus and the limbic system.
The hypothalamus controls the biological clock, while the limbic system controls mood and emotion. Therefore, those tested saw an improvement in insomnia as well as symptoms that are in line with a bipolar diagnosis while wearing blue light blocking glasses.
Although antiradiation or blue light blocking glasses were purely intended to protect the eyes from damage, there are many unintended benefits that you may experience if you begin using the glasses in the prescribed way. Additionally, just by being conscious and aware of the amount of time you are exposing your eyes to harmful light, you can be more mindful of your overall health.
Some Disadvantages of Antiradiation Glasses
Since these glasses work to block certain light ranges, they slightly change the color of what you are seeing. You will notice that everything will have a bit of a yellow tint when wearing your antiradiation glasses. For some, this may cause difficulty in reading screens, especially if you are working with a variety of color ranges.
This can especially be a disadvantage for those who work on highly creative projects on their electronic devices. For artists or designers, you may experience a differing view of colors that could impact your work in the long run if you are consistently wearing your blue light glasses. This is something to be aware of throughout your work.
This not only changes how colors are seen while wearing the glasses but may also change users’ perception of colors. For those who wear blue light blocking glasses all day every day, the altered coloration may become a new normal. This would change the user’s perception of color which could become permanent if more time is spent wearing the glasses than not.
Those who have used blue light glasses for extended periods of time have reported that they have increasing losses of scotopic vision. This is vision under low light levels. This is likely because the eye is not used to having to work hard in certain lights and therefore gets a little bit lazier in low lighting.
You Do Need Some Blue Light
Additionally, it is important to remember that not all blue light is going to be bad for the human body. For those who experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD) often termed as seasonal depression, light therapy is often used. The lights used emit bright white light which contains a significant amount of HEV blue light. This boosts mood, memory, alertness, and cognitive function.
Blue light also helps to regulate circadian rhythm because blue light alerts the body that it is daytime, and the body should be awake. This is why it is recommended to avoid excessive blue light at nighttime.
Therefore, it is not that using these glasses is harmful to the eyes but rather that it is important to know when to use them in order to get the best use out of them. If you are not using them at the right time of the day or overusing them, you may see additional cons presenting themselves due to your use of the blue light blocking glasses.
If you are using the glasses as recommended, you are likely to avoid all of these cons and instead only see positive effects from protecting your eyes from blue light exposure.
Are Antiradiation Glasses Safe?
Wearing antiradiation glasses is safe and recommended when used for short durations of time. Under normal circumstances, blue light blocking glasses should not be worn all day every day as this can alter the way your eyes see color and trick your brain into thinking it is not daytime when it is.
If you are using your glasses primarily when the sun is down when you are exposing yourself to screens, these glasses can be majorly helpful in protecting your eyes for years to come. This is ideal for your eye health and will ensure your brain is awake and high functioning at the correct times throughout the day.
In terms of your eye health, wearing blue light blocking glasses will not have any direct negative impacts on your eyes. The film on the glasses will not cause any damage to any part of the eye when in use. This ensures that the glasses are safe to use and will not cause any long term impairment to your vision.
Are Antiradiation Glasses Effective?
Antiradiation glasses are extremely effective in blocking out harmful blue lights. By filtering out the light being reflected from either the sun or electronics, the eye is not absorbing as much blue light. This is a hugely effective way to protect the eyes from loss of sight or degeneration.
If you are looking to invest in some blue light blocking glasses, make sure you are getting the highest quality glasses to fit your needs. I recommend the ones from Defendershield (check their website) as these are highly effective.
A cheaper alternative is the Gamma-Ray Blue Light Blocking Computer Glasses, which are available for purchase on Amazon.
For the complete list of recommended glasses based on what you are hoping to wear the glasses for, visit this website. There are glasses in all ranges of price, style, lens color, and are able to be used for a vast variety of different activities whether you’re looking for glasses to wear for gaming or as an alternative for your sunglasses.
However, if you are not interested in investing in glasses or do not like the feeling of wearing glasses, there are alternatives to using glasses to block blue lights.
One alternative to using antiradiation glasses is to instead use a filter on your electronic devices. You can find filters for smartphones, tablets, and computer screens that are applied directly to the screen and block much of the blue light that is emitting from the device. This will not affect the visibility of the screen display, which is a benefit that glasses do not have.
These can be found in a tempered glass that can also be used as a screen protector when used for portable devices. Many smartphones today also have a blue light blocking setting that you can turn on automatically when it is dark outside. By going into your lighting settings, you will see night mode.
This will make your display a bit yellower and will automatically turn on when the sun goes down and turn off when the sun comes up if that is your preference. This is a great tool to use so you do not even need to think about having to block the blue light manually every night and avoids needing to use glasses or a screen filter.
Finally, the best alternative to avoid any symptoms is to avoid the use of any screens after the sun has gone down and before the sun comes up and limiting the time you are staring at a screen throughout the day. Many do not have the ability to limit screen time as their work or schooling depends on looking at a computer screen.
However, if you are able to cut back on the amount you are looking at a screen during the night, you will be able to better regulate your brains’ secretion of melatonin and have a healthier sleep cycle while maintaining good eye health. This will cut back on your need to buy any screen covers or eyeglasses for your protection.
In terms of exposure to blue light during sun exposure, be sure you are protecting your skin and eyes from UV rays. This can be done by wearing sunscreen or clothing that covers the skin, and ensuring you are not exposing your eyes to the rays of the sun without protection by eyeglasses.
Protecting your eyes is important, regardless of the stage of your life you are in. If you work or complete your school courses online, it is likely you are spending the majority of your day looking at a screen. If you are experiencing anything like:
- Insomnia or unsettled sleeping patterns
- Eye strain
- Any losses in vision
Then wearing blue blocking eyeglasses after the sun goes down could be hugely beneficial for you. Not only will your symptoms likely decrease, but you will also be able to increase your productivity during the day if you are sleeping better and feeling overall healthier.
If wearing glasses does not feel comfortable for you, first try adjusting your phone settings to block blue lights during the nighttime. You can manage your settings so that your phone automatically adjusts when the sun is down, or you can input times of the day you want the setting to turn on and off.
This is not only a great starting place but will help you identify if blocking some blue light is helpful for you. If it is, you may reconsider and want to invest in some glasses. In the case that you do not use your cell phone much at night but are on your computer while the sun is still down, look into screen protectors that will regulate blue light.
However, if you use a screen protector be aware that you are likely blocking all blue light regardless of the time of day it is, therefore you will have less control than you would with wearing glasses or having an automatic setting on your phone. If you are blocking blue lights all day it may have negative impacts on your brain function.
Additionally, the purpose of this article is not to make you scared of exposing your eyes to blue light, as there are numerous benefits. Safe exposure to sunlight in small doses is great for mood, energy levels, and boosting your alertness and brain function. The same goes for light therapy practices which can be hugely beneficial for mood and productivity.
If you completely remove HEV blue light rays from your day to day, you may be causing other issues in exchange for protecting your eyes. Instead, limit your blue light exposure once the sun goes down to try to better regulate your mood, emotions, and sleep patterns.