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Blue light optics (glasses) - Myth?

luckynos7evin profile image Andy Morrell (LuckyNoS7evin) ・4 min read

Firstly, I would like to start by saying hello and welcome to anyone who reads this. I have written below what I believe regarding blue light. I'm here to give my experience, hope others learn from that or I create a debate/discussion on the matter.

Blue Light, what?

So what exactly is blue light? Well, until 2018, I wasn't even really aware of it so here's the Wikipedia definition taken from here [taken on 25th May 2020].

“In ophthalmology, high-energy visible light (HEV light) is high-frequency, high-energy light in the violet/blue band from 400 to 450 nm in the visible spectrum. Despite a lack of concurring scientific evidence, HEV light has sometimes been claimed to be a cause of age-related macular degeneration. Some sunglasses and beauty creams specifically block HEV, for added marketing value.”

My Story

In late 2018 I started a new role for a company. This role was almost 100% remote. After the initial visit to HQ, I would only visit again 6-7 times during the 15 months I was there. Since those 15 months came to an end, I have now started my own company.

So back to the reason I mention the 100% remote working. I was working, streaming, developing and gaming from the same setup, all week, every week. I was finishing work, doing some family stuff and then going back to that same environment. In mid 2019 I was starting to suffer, I was doing too much. I cut down streaming. I cut down extra work and I cut back on PC time. I felt a lot better.

I had felt like this before in 2017 where my prescription had changed a lot in only 2 years. The previous incidents in 2017 included vomiting and hospital visits. There is very much an importance on eye health and eye strain, since then I even get my prescription done yearly

The final issue I had was headaches. It wasn't my prescription as I have my eyes tested regularly, I also knew it wasn't down to much else, apart from screen time. When your job is software development, it's pretty hard not to look at a screen most of the time.

What happened next?

It came to TwitchCon 2019. I was off to San Diego for a few days, not only to network, I was also there to see a little bit of contract work I did for Twitch go live (it worked BTW). The conference was going on and as I was walking around the shop floor so to speak, I found GUNNAR Optiks. I had a great talk with them about their glasses, about blue light, which led to me standing there for an hour just discussing life in general. I made one point, "It's a shame you don't do prescription!". I had heard of GUNNAR before, not really looked into it though, and as soon as I said it, I got an instant reply of "Yeah, we do!". “Wow, fantastic, I'll take a pair!!”

Fast forward 3 months

I went home, waited for Black Friday and “boom!”, Got myself a prescription pair of GUNNAR glasses. I went with the 65 BLPF, as I thought the clear 35 BLPF was going to be too light, and the 90 and 98 were going to be too strong. The middle ground is seemingly the best place to be at times.

7 months on

It's now May 2020, I get asked when I stream, in meetings and on other occasions about my glasses.

  • “Do they work?”
  • “How do you find the tint?”
  • “Why not put a filter on your screen?”

Hopefully I can give my experience on some of these questions.

Do they work?

Well, I haven't had a headache since November 2019, I think that's pretty good. Now, when I say I haven't had a headache, that's a little bit of a lie, I had a few too many Gin & Tonics a couple of months ago. That gave me a headache, rather than looking at the screen all day.

Do you notice the tint when you’re wearing them?

In all honesty no, there are even times I don't take them off when I finish work, as I just forget I have them on. Yes you can tell things aren't quite white, however your mind seems to adjust to this after about 30 minutes, and you completely forget white is not white anymore.

Why not put a filter on your screen?

With five monitors, two TVs, mobile phones and tablets, in all honesty, it's easier wearing the glasses.

Why not use build in blue light filters on monitors/screens?

Okay, that may help a little (I don't know, I've never tested it). However, surely you are just dimming the light that is still being directed at you rather than actually filtering that light? Until someone can show me this actually does work, I will remain a sceptic on the matter of built in filters.

In the end

In the end, this is my opinion, yes it works.

Let's have a healthy discussion on why you think they don't or if you agree with me, why? Have you got any, and where did you get them from?

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