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Can You Wear Blue Light Blocking Glasses with Contact Lenses?

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You may be interested in blue light glasses if your eyes are sore or hurt after using digital screens, but can you wear these glasses if you have contact lenses?  Luckily, you can, but make sure you are not doubling up and getting a pair of prescription glasses. 

You can still enjoy blue light blocking glasses if you wear contact lenses.  Wear these glasses while wearing your contacts as long as they are a non-prescription pair.  These lenses only feature the blue light filter—similar to wearing sunglasses.

Many patients seek blue light blocking glasses to prevent digital eye strain, but lifestyle changes may also play a key role in reducing symptoms.

Blue Light Blocking Glasses:  A Popular Add-On

Blue light blocking glasses are a way to limit blue light exposure to your eyes.  The blue light filter can be added to a separate pair of glasses or applied to your regular prescription lenses.  These glasses help to reduce eye strain by providing near-focusing boost, reducing the demand to keep objects in focus while doing near work, as well as block high-energy blue light.

Can Contact Lenses Block Blue Light?

If you wear contacts, you likely prefer wearing them over glasses.  With today’s technology, many contact lenses can have filters, but not every kind of lens comes with them automatically. 

Speak with your eye doctor if you are interested in blue light filters for your contacts.  They can discuss the lenses they offer and the best option suited for your visual needs. 

What Is Blue Light?

We all know that too much exposure to the sun can harm our eyes, but did you know that blue light comes from your electronic devices as well?  Blue light is a high-energy light that is emitted in a shorter wavelength than other light we can see. 

Exposure to blue light is common on a daily basis.  It is emitted from electronic devices, such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, and TVs.

Many patients believe that blue light can cause digital eye strain, a condition where your eyes feel sore and tired after using devices like laptops, phones, or televisions. 

How Does Blue Light Affect Your Eyes?

Overall, blue light is not a significant risk to your eye health and vision, but it can still negatively affect other aspects of your life. 

The American Academy of Ophthalmology notes that blue light does not directly affect eye strain, nor does it cause damage to your eyes.  You develop eye strain from focusing while doing near work for longer periods of time without resting.  That is why the near-focusing boost found in certain blue blocking glasses can be very helpful.

What blue light does affect is your circadian rhythm, in which your body usually knows when to sleep and wake.  Because blue light inhibits the release of melatonin, a natural hormone in the brain associated with sleep, it interferes with this natural process.  As a result, using digital devices makes it harder to fall asleep and causes you to feel less rested the next day.  It is important to limit blue light exposure before you rest to avoid potential issues with your sleep. 

Many aspects of computer and digital device use can worsen eye strain.  Screens make your eyes work harder because many people view their screens from poor angles and distances, leading to irritated eyes. 

Digital device use can lead to: 

  • Headaches
  • Dry Eyes
  • Eye Strain

How Can You Limit Blue Light?

People are surrounded by technology in everyday life.  While this exposure may not seem like a big deal, too much blue light can cause disruptions in your sleep.  However, limiting blue light exposure can help you wake up feeling more refreshed. 

You can help limit blue light exposure by:

  • Creating a routine to turn off electronics at a specific time.
  • Dimming the brightness of your digital screens.
  • Using the night mode feature on your phone.
  • Wearing an eye mask when you sleep at night to block out light.

What About Strained Eyes? 

Strained eyes are not a risk to your vision, but they can be annoying and painful.  Eye strain occurs when your eyes focus for too long without a break, and there are ways to avoid unnecessary discomfort. 

You can help reduce or prevent future eye strain with the following tips: 

  • Follow the 20-20-20 Rule:  The 20-20-20 Rule can help give your eyes a well-needed break.  Rest your eyes every 20 minutes by looking at something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.  Give your eyes a chance to break focus from your screens. 
  • Optimize Your Workspace:  Your room’s lighting and screen position can make a difference.  Adjust the brightness of your room and screen to match, while keeping your screen at the right height, to reduce eye strain. 
  • Use Eye Drops:  Eye drops like artificial tears can help provide moisture to your eyes, supplementing your natural tears.  Patients tend to blink less frequently and fully when looking at digital screens, leading to dry eyes.
A man in an optometry clinic shaking hands with his female optometrist

Prevent Strained Eyes at the End of the Day

Eye strain can be uncomfortable and frustrating, but it does not need to be a foregone conclusion.  You can reduce your risk of eye strain in many ways, from the 20-20-20 Rule to hydrating eye drops.  If you are interested in blue light glasses, reach out to your optometrist, who can advise you in finding the right pair. Contact Eye Love Optometry if you are struggling with frequent eye strain.


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  • Written by Park L. Hsieh, O.D.

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