A lot of screen time? Action 9 investigates whether blue light glasses really help

A lot of screen time? Action 9 investigates whether blue light glasses really help

CHARLOTTE — Many people across the Carolinas are working from home and spending more time on their computers. Children have also been subject to increased screen time because of remote learning.

Maybe you bought -- or you’re thinking of buying -- glasses that claim to block blue light from digital devices. They’re supposed to ease some of the strain on your eyes and help you sleep better.

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“I’m logging probably 6-7 hours a day just staring at the screen,” said Beth Anne Holl. “I do a lot of writing, a lot of e-mails, a lot of Zoom calls. So, I’m really focused on that screen and it definitely has an effect.”

Holl’s doctor recommended blue light glasses years ago.

“She told me, ‘You might want to look at a pair of these, especially if you’re getting headaches,’ which I was. And from there the next time I got my eyeglasses prescribed, I got the blue light lenses in them and it was a world of difference,” Holl told Action 9.

Many seem to agree -- or are at least willing to try the glasses. According to MarketWatch, customers have spent $22 million on the glasses so far this year.

At 5 p.m. on Channel 9, Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke is investigating if they’re worth the hype and the price.

“If I don’t wear my blue light glasses, I get really tired,” Holl said. “My eyes got a lot more strained. I get really bad headaches too if I’m staring at the screen all day.”

But not everyone is sold on them. Dr. Sandeep Grover told Action 9 there isn’t enough research to prove the blue light glasses work.

“There’s a lot of hype,” Grover said. “There’s a lot of hype about blue filtering glasses and the blue light that is supposedly coming out of telephones, laptops … laptops -- well, there is some element to it, but the amount of blue light that comes out is not enough to cause disease in the eye.”

Grover said you can cut back on eye strain for free.

“If someone is on computers for a long time, then go by the “20-20-20” which is that after every 20 minutes use of a computer, look out into the distance for about 20 feet away. Something for 20 seconds, and that’s kind of a good rule of thumb,” he said.

Grover also suggests staying off any digital device at least an hour before bed.

“There is a melatonin that is produced in the body that helps the body to calm down and sleep, and melatonin reduction is reduced by bright lights, so it’s not the blue light itself but just the exposure to any kind of light before you go to sleep,” he said.

Think about putting your device in night mode -- the softer colors don’t interfere with melatonin as much.

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