Shedding Light on Blue Light Glasses: A Modern Myth?

Picture of the author Mamisoa Andriantafika by Mamisoa Andriantafika

- 2 minutes to read - 392 words

A Cochrane organization review critically examines the usefulness of blue light filters.

Blue light filtering glasses have become a common accessory, especially for those who spend a lot of time in front of screens. However, a recent Cochrane study raises questions about their actual effectiveness.

The Promises of Blue Light Filters

Cochrane review published in 2023 do not show a reduction of eye strain using blue light filters.

This study examined the impact of blue light filtering glasses on eye strain and observed side effects after one month of use. With 17 studies involving 619 people in six countries, the analysis conducted so far has been substantial and extends to March 2022. However, the results are far from being in favor of their real utility. It seems that there are no short-term advantages to using blue light filtering lenses to reduce visual fatigue during computer use, compared to lenses without a filter.

Side Effects: A Concern

The potential adverse effects associated with these glasses, although generally mild and temporary, deserve attention. Some users reported headaches, increased depressive symptoms, lowered mood, and discomfort while wearing the glasses.

These effects were similar to those observed with non-filtering lenses, suggesting that the problems might be more related to the glasses themselves than to the blue light filtering lenses.

Headaches and depressive symptoms were observed but not clearly linked to the use of blue light filters.

Other parameters need to be studied to better evaluate their impact

The studies did not focus on visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, color discrimination, discomfort glare, macular health, serum melatonin levels, or overall patient visual satisfaction.

These parameters could help better understand the actual relationship of blue light filtering glasses with the observed side effects, particularly in terms of visual quality, depression, or sleep.


Woman with eye strain

The Cochrane systematic review highlights the need for high-quality research to more clearly define the effects of blue light filtering lenses on visual performance, macular health, and sleep in adults.

Until such information is available, it seems prudent to consider blue light filtering glasses with a certain skepticism and not to expect miracles in terms of reducing eye strain.

Source: Blue‐light filtering spectacle lenses for visual performance, sleep, and macular health in adults - Sumeer Singh, Peter R Keller, Ljoudmila Busija, Patrick McMillan, Eve Makrai, John G Lawrenson,Christopher, C HullLaura, E Downie - 18 August 2023

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