Blue light glasses: Are they necessary for kids?

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    Most of us have this question in mind whether blue light blocking glasses actually work or not, as they are getting more popular among adults and teens. Many parents worry that increasing screen time might have adverse effects on their child’s eye health.

    Their concern regarding this is somewhat valid because the blue light from the screens of our digital devices can cause eye strain and visual fatigue when looking at them for too long. They can also experience eye dryness and disturbed sleep.

    Just like us adults, children are also exposed to these blue lights. Nowadays, blue light blocking glasses are becoming quite common are becoming quite common, and many companies market them as glasses that solve visual problems like eye strain and eye fatigue.

    Now, you might think why blue light is being the center of attention in causing visual problems among adults as well as kids. To answer this, let’s dive into what blue light is?

    Visible light is comprised of rays of light having different wavelengths. The colors of light are specified according to the wavelengths, and the one with the shortest wavelength in our visible spectrum is blue light.

    Due to the shorter wavelength, blue light has higher energy levels as compared to other colors. Beyond this invisible ultraviolet region starts, which has adverse effects on the skin and eyes. The primary source of blue light is our sun. Some artificial sources such as our daily use devices like computers, mobile phones, light bulbs, LED’s, and TV screens also emit blue light.

    Kids and digital devices

    Since the pandemic, more and more kids stay at home as it is not safe to go outside during these times. Even their classes have shifted towards online alternatives such as Zoom. The screen time for kids these days have significantly increased since the lockdown as they don’t have much to do at home, and going outside to play is not an option during these difficult times.

    By this, we can say for sure that kids are getting more and more involved in using digital devices such as phones and TV screens. The screen time for an average child has been increased up to 60%, according to one study, as digital devices have become quite common for studying and entertainment.

    Children from five to eighteen years typically use screens for up to 7 hours per day. Some children might experience eye strain and other visual problems. It is understandable for the parents to worry about their child’s eye health because of the increasing screen time.

    Blue light glasses

    Blue light glasses have become increasingly popular in recent years. These glasses claim to filter out harmful blue light to protect our eyes. These glasses have special lenses that reflect the unnecessary blue light. Their lenses come in different categories; some have a yellow tint to block more blue light. These blue light filtering glasses work by blocking all the unnecessary blue light before it reaches the viewer’s eye.

    These glasses manufacturers claim to block all the harmful blue light from the screens whether your child is playing video games or studying. They claim that these glasses can reduce the glare from our screens and stops the harmful blue light that causes eye strain and visual fatigue when exposed for too long.

    It is quite common to experience temporary eye strain when looking at a screen, and you should not worry too much about it. Using blue light glasses are still not going to be enough if you are not going to manage the screen time for your child.

    Should you buy one for your kids?

    Due to limited scientific research on these glasses, proving to be helpful towards more serious visual problems, there is still not enough evidence that can make us recommend that these glasses can fully eliminate visual issues that are caused by longer exposures of blue light.

    However, some parents say that the academic performance of their kids has improved due to better focus while studying. Some might disagree and say that they did not feel much difference at all. Although most of them claimed that these had helped their kids sleep better at night. Wearing these glasses are not harmful in any way if not beneficial at all.

    If you have decided to buy these for your kids, it is recommended to put them on for some time and see if your child is experiencing any adverse effects. If your child does not feel any adverse reaction, then they should continue wearing them. Besides wearing blue light filtering glasses, you can also educate your child to follow other healthy habits such as maintaining good posture and taking breaks when they have to stay in front of the screen for too long.

    Other things to prevent eye strain

    Some doctors recommend taking frequent short intervals of time away from the screen can ease some of the strain on your kid’s eyes. For this, parents are advised to monitor the child’s screen time strictly. Another thing you can try is guiding your child about looking at these digital devices from a safe distance of about 25 inches from the screen. You can also apply some protective anti-glare filters on the screen of your child’s computer to ensure that your child does not experience excessive eye strain.

    Try reducing the screen’s brightness, especially at night when the room is not very well lit. Most of the phones and Laptop screens have a night mode that reduces the blue light from the screen and adds a warmer tint. It is recommended to stop your child from using any of these devices at least one hour before going to bed. However, most studies say that eye strain is temporary, and you should not worry too much about it. Many doctors advise limiting the screen time for your child. The recommended screen time for children under five years of age is less than one hour per day.