Blue light, your eyes, and compensating glasses

Research is starting to indicate that modern lighting techniques might damage elements of the human eye and affect our health in other ways. By modern lighting, this means LED bulbs and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), computer screens, and mobile phone screens amongst others. The effects are wide-ranging and interesting to me personally.

I’ve had perfect eyesight throughout my life until the past 10 years, which interestingly corresponded to purchases of LED computer screens and spending many hours working in front of them. Only recently have I used tools such as f.lux and Redshift to soften the effects from the light of the screens, but this didn’t help my eyesight recover.

So since Christmas, I’ve been testing my requested Christmas present, a pair of specs from Gunnar, functional eyewear specifically to protect eyes from harsh blue light. So far so good. I love them except for how they look on me – but that’s my fault. They looked like a Fly-shades pair that I’d seen Bono wearing, but of course, Bono has more money and time to test the look against his face. But nevermind that, the results have been good.

Eye strain from using computer screens is a thing of the past. Screens used to annoy first thing in the day when they¬†seemed so bright, and in the evening when the rest of the environment is getting darker and my eyes feel the screen glare becomes painfully tedious. The Gunnars¬†stop the problem dead by filtering light through “yellowish” lenses which apparently filter out certain wavelengths of blue light as well.

The unexpected benefit was night driving. With the glasses on, the road seems perceptibly brighter, details are sharper and clearer, regardless of the presence of headlights or lighting, artificial or not.

My eyes may yet recover; that remains to be seen. But in the meantime, the glasses afford protection from an anecdotally damaging bit of ubiquitous modern tech.