Can Blue Light Filter Glasses Prevent Migraines?

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Blue light filtering glasses are being advertised as an apparatus to help prevent digital eye strain, retinal damage, and headaches. However, experts say that there is still no strong scientific evidence that it causes long-term damage to the eyes. 

So do blue light glasses help with headaches? Numerous people claim that these types of glasses have actually helped them in one way or another. In this article, let’s how anti-blue light glasses work and if it’s worth a try or not. 

What is blue light? How does it cause certain problems? 

Blue light is one of the range of colors in the visible light spectrum. It can be found anywhere in a sense that it is emitted by the sun and our TV, computers, and smartphones screens. 

Our body produces a melatonin hormone which is responsible for making us feel sleepy at night. The amount of blue light our body absorbs affects our internal clock or biological clock in a sense that it suppresses the production of melatonin in our body. Although, if the only source of blue light we get is from the sun, its effect is rather good for our body. It can help us feel sleepy earlier in the night but feel more alert during the daytime. 

We can’t deny the habit of checking our phones right before bedtime which exposes us to more blue light from our smartphone screens. This then interrupts our sleep cycle making it harder for us to fall asleep at night and may pose a lot of health problems in the long run. 

Bright light affects our trigeminal nerve, which can then cause pain or discomfort in the eyes. And this nerve is responsible for the sensation around our face and perception of pain during migraine attacks. 

What is migraine and what triggers it?

Migraine is caused by specific changes in the brain which causes intense or severe headaches. Other symptoms may include the following:

  • Pain in the temples
  • Pain, usually intense pulsing or throbbing behind one ear or eye
  • Sensitivity to sound and/or light and/or smells
  • Temporary loss of vision
  • Seeing spots and/or flashing lights in your vision
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Different factors can trigger migraines. Some of them include hormonal changes, emotional anxiety and stress, head injury, and certain types of food. Other people complain of suffering from migraines after long periods of staring at their computer or phone screens. 

How do blue light filter lenses work? 

The lenses of blue light filter glasses are specifically designed to block the active blue light that is being emitted by our TV, laptop, or smartphone screens which help alleviate the amount of stress it puts in our eyes. 

Insufficient Evidence

Marketing companies strongly advertise blue light blocking glasses as an aid in the reduction of eye fatigue or eye strain, also called digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome which can often lead to headaches. But the scientific validity for these statements is very mixed. 

Some studies show that people do benefit from using this type of glasses to reduce eyestrain. However, many studies do not find any benefits from it. 

On an anecdotal level, some people claim that blue light glasses work for them while others do not notice any benefits at all. As stated by Vision Council, a group that represents manufacturers of eyeglasses, about 60% of Americans that were surveyed experience a few symptoms of digital eye strain because of an extended period in front of computer screens. 

Therefore, in theory, the concern about digital eye strain is real; however, in scientific studies, there is still no evidence right now that shows if blue light is the actual cause of eye deterioration or retinal damage. Experts say that focusing our eyes for too long on any type of screen or even books causes dryness in our eyes. This is because we are blinking less frequently than we should be. 

So, do blue light glasses work? For improving our sleep? Yes. For alleviating fatigue? Maybe. For retinal health, more research might still be needed to prove this claim. 

Best Alternative Ways to Prevent Eye Strain

The best and most effective method to prevent digital eye strain is the 20-20-20 rule: 

  • Take a break from working on your computer every 20 minutes.
  • Try staring on one spot for about 20 feet away from you.
  • Stay your focus on it for around 20 seconds.

Taking a break, even for just a few minutes, will greatly help in easing the strain or pressure in your eyes. We tend to blink less when staring at a screen for longer periods and this is the one that causes dry eyes. Experts recommend using eye drops to help hydrate the eyes. 

How to Prevent Migraines

Here are some other ways to remove the strain from your eyes and maybe even help avoid migraines: 

  • Adjust the lighting in the room. Make sure that it matches the brightness of your screen.
  • Slightly lower the screen making your gaze downward a little bit.
  • Place your computer monitor at least 2 feet away from you. 
  • Use a matte screen filter to help minimize the glare.
  • If you’re wearing contact lenses, try to take a break every once in a while by switching to your eyeglasses instead.

Do blue light glasses help with headaches or eye strain in general?

The direct answer to this is that they might not really be as effective as it is being advertised but it won’t hurt to try. And for those people who work in front of computers for extended periods, blue light filters can help them adjust back their sleeping patterns to their normal sleep cycle. Whether it’s headaches, migraine, or eye strain, some users claim that these filters or glasses were able to actually help them. 

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