We offer a blue light filter as part of our UltraClear SuperClean lens treatment. View offer.

If you’ve ever worried about the effect of digital screens on your eyes, then you may have heard about ‘blue light’, and perhaps even searched for ways to protect your eyes against it. Blue light glasses (or blue light blocking glasses) are becoming more popular than ever due to claims that they can protect your eyes against potential damage — but how effective are they at keeping your eyes healthy? Here, we’ll take a closer look into the scientific research behind blue light glasses, and whether they actually work.

How do your eyes feel?

If you’ve been looking for blue light glasses because you’ve noticed a difference in how your eyes feel lately, then we recommend you have an eye exam where you will receive professional advice.

What is blue light?

Sunlight contains many types of coloured light (including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet), each with a different wavelength and energy level. Combined, this spectrum of coloured light rays creates what we call ‘white light’ (or sunlight).

Blue light is just one type of colour within this light spectrum — generally defined as ‘visible light’. This means that it has a short wavelength and high energy levels. Levels of blue light are emitted from a range of different light sources, the largest being the sun, which is where we get most of our exposure to it. However, there are also many man-made sources, and in recent years, blue light has gained notoriety because of its link to digital screens. Computers, tablets, smartphones and other digital screens all emit blue light. Although this is only a fraction of that emitted by the sun, the amount of time people spend using these devices and the proximity of these screens to the eyes has caused some concern about potential long-term effects of blue light on eye health.

What does blue light do to your eyes?

Blue light has a short wavelength, which makes it very easy for it to penetrate the eyes. This means that almost all visible blue light rays can pass through the cornea and lens to the retina (the lining of the back of the eye). While there is little research to support this, some experts have suggested that too much exposure to blue light has the potential to damage the light-sensitive cells in the retina. One animal study also found that blue light damage may cause phototoxic retinal damage.1

However, while it is true that digital screens do emit some blue light, research has found that the level of blue light exposure from screens is significantly lower than that from natural daylight — and neither levels approach eye safety limits.2 This means that the potential blue light damage caused from digital screens is likely to be very little, if any at all.

What are blue light glasses?

Blue light glasses (sometimes called blue light blocking glasses) are glasses that contain lenses specifically designed to reduce the amount of blue light that reaches the eye. These lenses filter blue light rays to help prevent them from entering your eye and causing potential damage. Usually, blue light lenses have a slight yellow tint (to counterbalance the blue light), but you can’t usually notice this.

Do blue light glasses work?

While blue light blocking glasses are effective at reducing the amount of blue light that enter the eyes, there is no current research to suggest that this can improve or protect the health of your eyes. Put simply, there is no scientifically-proven benefit of wearing blue light blocking glasses for your eye health. 

According to the Canadian Association of Optometrists, "There is no clinical evidence that artificial blue light at low intensity and shorter exposure periods is harmful to the eye." The Association recognizes that a large portion of our time is spent using different types of digital screens, which can cause eye strain and ultimately eye fatigue. It is therefore recommended to use the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look away from your screen and focus on a target 20 feet away for 20 seconds in order to allow for your eyes to relax and take a break.3

Do blue light blocking glasses help with eye strain?

Some people may consider getting blue light glasses because of claims that they can help to reduce eye strain when using digital devices. However, there is not enough research evidence to suggest that blue light causes digital eye strain in the first place. When using digital screens, eye strain can occur for a number of reasons. If you spend too long concentrating and looking at a screen, then your eyes can become fatigued. Also, your eyes have to shift focus constantly while looking at screens, and sitting too close can strain your eye muscles as they try to focus on such a close image. If you wear glasses, glare reflected onto your digital screen or glasses lenses from surrounding light sources (such as bright office lights, or a nearby window) can also cause your eyes to squint and strain. 

It’s easy for these issues to be labelled as a result of blue light, however, it’s more likely that these problems are simply caused by the overuse of digital devices, and not blue light itself. The majority of times, eye fatigue is due to digital eye strain, and blue light damage is rare, if it occurs at all.4

Here are a few suggesstions to help you reduce eye strain

Regular screen breaks

Take regular breaks from your screen or device


Look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes

Drink & blink

Concentrating reduces blinking, so blink often and stay hydrated with lots of water

Night Time

Use the “night time” option on your devices and turn down the brightness level

Consult an Optometrist

Get a comprehensive eye examination by an Independent Doctor of Optometry at Specsavers

Other blue light FAQs

Do blue light glasses prevent retinal damage?

Many regulations have been put in place to limit the amount of blue light emitted by exposure to everyday objects. Due to these safety limits, the levels of blue light that are emitted from objects like light bulbs and digital screens are not high enough to cause retinal damage, and therefore wearing blue light blocking glasses when using digital screens may not be necessary in this regard.

Do blue light glasses prevent macular degeneration?

In North America, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the population over the age of 55.5 It is a degenerative eye condition which slowly degrades the macula, causing gradual loss of central vision, and chances of developing the disease increases with age (although certain forms of the disease can also affect younger people).

Although there is no scientific evidence to support the use of blue light glasses for preventing macular degeneration, blue light blocking glasses do not cause any harm. We recommend booking an appointment to see an Independent Doctor of Optometry at Specsavers if you have concerns about macular degeneration, experience symptoms (e.g. straight lines appear to be wavy or blurring of the central vision). Your Optometrist will also be able to give you information about our blue light glasses tints if you are still interested.

Do blue light glasses prevent headache?

Headaches can be caused by multiple factors and can sometimes be related to your eye health. Conditions such as "ocular migraines" and "computer vision syndrome" can both be related to headaches. It’s important not to confuse ocular migraines (or retinal migraines) with generalised headaches behind the eye or "tension headaches". Ocular migraines happen as a result of reduced blood flow to the eye, due to a sudden narrowing of the blood vessels, and usually occur in just one eye.

Tension and migraine headaches, each having their unique characteristics, can be caused by multiple factors, including internal and external stimuli. Sensitivity to bright light (also known as photophobia), some prescription medications or simply staring at digital screens for too long are examples of causes that can lead to these types of headaches.

There is no scientific evidence to suggest blue light glasses can prevent headaches but we do know that blue light blocking glasses are not harmful and can often give users comfort. As such, we do have blue light glasses tints available and if you would like to try them, please book an appointment with your nearest Independent Doctor of Optometry at Specsavers.

Do blue light glasses prevent myopia?

Myopia (also known as near- or short-sightedness), is a very common cause of blurred vision, where distant objects appear out of focus.

There is a vast amount of research, conducted in the past and continually emerging, on causes of myopia. Some factors that play a role in the increase in myopia include genetics, ethnicity, birth circumstances, habitual lifestyle, and environmental factors.

There is no evidence, to date, that blue light glasses can help prevent the onset or progression of myopia. In fact, myopia can be detected from early childhood during a comprehensive eye examination, where procedures are conducted to assess the patient's visual status and eye health. The Optometrist may prescribe glasses and/or contact lenses to be worn either full-time or for certain tasks.

It is recommended to book a comprehensive eye examination with an Independent Doctor of Optometry at Specsavers.

Blue light filtering glasses lens options

Now you know the facts, if you wish to try blue light reading glasses, blue light computer glasses or general blue light prescription glasses for yourself, you can include a blue light treatment with our UltraClear SuperClean lens options.


  1. Downie, Laura., ‘Blue-light filtering ophthalmic lenses: to prescribe or not to prescribe?’, Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics: The journal of the college of optometrists, 37, 6. (2017). [online] Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/opo.12414 [accessed 07/08/2020]
  2. O'Hagan JB, Khazova M & Price LL. ‘Low-energy light bulbs, computers, tablets and the blue light hazard’. Eye (London). 30. pp. 230–233. (2016).
  3. The Canadian Association of Optometrists, Blue Light: is there a risk of harm. [online]. Available at: https://opto.ca/health-library... [accessed 31/10/2022]
  4. Khurana, Rahul, MD., ‘Are Computer Glasses worth it?’, American Academy of Ophthalmology. (2017). [online]. Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/are-computer-glasses-worth-it [accessed 07/08/2020]
  5. The Canadian Association of Optometrists, AMD (Age-related macular degeneration). [online]. Available at: https://opto.ca/eye-health-library/amd-age-related-macular-degeneration [accessed 01/12/2022]