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I Tried Blue Light Blocking Glasses—And Here’s What Happened

5 min read

According to recent studies, 60 percent of people spend as much as six hours a day in front of a digital device—computer, tablet, smartphone or other gadget. As you’ve probably heard, all of these devices emit blue light or high-energy visible (HEV) light, which is a known cause of computer vision syndrome, sleep disruptions and possibly age-related macular degeneration. But it’s not all artificial sources of blue light that we’re exposed to. The sun also emits blue light radiation, meaning our eyes are being flooded with this short-range, high-energy blue wavelengths.

And blue light isn’t inherently “bad.” In blue light’s natural form, your body uses it from the sun to regulate your natural sleep and wake cycles, or circadian rhythm. Blue light also helps boost alertness, heighten reaction times, elevate moods and increase feelings of well being.

The problem comes when we’re exposed to too much artificial blue light from LEDs, energy-efficient fluorescent bulb and our tech devices. Blue light waves are the among the shortest, highest energy wavelengths in the visible light spectrum. Because they are shorter, these wavelengths flicker more easily than longer, weaker wavelengths. This kind of flickering creates a glare that can reduce visual contrast and affect sharpness and clarity, which may be the cause of eyestrain, headaches, and the physical and mental fatigue we feel from many hours sitting in front of a computer screen or other electronic device.

Enter the blue-light-blocking glasses you see just about everywhere these days. In theory, they’re meant to help decrease that glare and reduce blue-light exposure, helping to eliminate some of the distress our eyes and bodies feel from too much blue light. But do they really work? We tried a pair from eye care brand Zak.—and here’s what happened.

My Problem: Headaches, Eye Fatigue and Blurry Vision

My job requires me to be in front of a computer most of the day. Since all my work is remote, I’m connected to screens from at least 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and sometimes more than that if I choose to unwind with a few episodes of The Office or my favorite travel vloggers.

And, I’m prone to headaches. Tension/stress headaches, migraines and the like are a weekly occurrence. As I get older, I have noticed more eye fatigue and blurry vision if I focus on a screen for too long. My eyesight is “better” than 20/20 according to my optometrist, so I know it’s not just age or typical degeneration. All of that makes my work trickier, and less efficient, especially if I have to bow out of the day early to tend to a headache.

The author, in the Zak. thin, round frames with blue light AR coating.

My Solution: Zak. Blue Light Blocking Glasses

I’d been wanting to try blue-light blocking glasses for a while, so when Zak. reached out about trying their line, I was on board. The brand
is a family business from father-daughter duo Kyly Rabin and Dr. Myles Zakheim founded in September 2018 and is a new way of seeing (pun intended) the world of eye care. They take a 360 approach to your eyes, starting from exams with their team of best in class optometrists to their in-house collection of exclusive frames all the way to same-day fabrication in their on-site lab—all for an affordable price. The team at Zak. knows we need to approach eye health similar to that of dental and our overall health—routinely.

That includes their offering of the Blue AR Coating on almost all their lenses, helping to combat eye strain caused by being on our screens all the time.

The Results: Sayonara, Headaches!

I’m not a glasses or contacts wearer, so it took a bit of adjustment for me to get used to sliding a pair of lenses on my face each morning. But once I did, I was so glad to have Zak. in my back pocket as a weapon against headaches and eye strain.

TBH, day one was the hardest, and I actually think having glasses on my face caused a headache (that’s how sensitive I am). But my eyes and head assimilated quickly and I noticed an overall decrease both in my headaches and in my blurry vision. I found that I can concentrate a little longer over the course of the day, and when I take off my Zak. lenses, my eyes don’t feel as tired or drained as they used to.

Plus, they’re super stylish and I feel pretty cool in the thin, clear, round frames (having never had glasses as a kid, I’m not scarred by the four-eyes taunt). My husband routinely stops into my home office to say, “Let me see you in those glasses,” which is just another reason to slip them on every day.

I also like that they’re not super yellow tinted, like many of the pairs I was considering at one point. They do slightly change the color of your screen and the world around you, giving it a very minimal warmer glow, but that’s only noticeable when I’m trying to edit photos and ensure accurate color correction. So, I just take them off and put them back on when I’m writing, editing or replying to emails.

My recommendation? If you’re considering blue-light glasses, Zak. is a great investment. With stylish options, a not-crazy price point and a focus on eye health, these blue-light blockers are totally worth it.

Interested in other treatments for common issues? We tried acupuncture for skin issues, and a refillable deodorant, so you don’t have to.

About The Author

Nicolle Mackinnon

Nicolle Mackinnon

Stemming from her personal journey to treat her celiac disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Nicolle serves as a writer and editor for several leading publications helping women understand how important, stylish and fun it is to commit to clean beauty. By way of her contributions to No More Dirty Looks, Thoughtfully Magazine and numerous beauty brands' blogs, websites and social media, Nicolle has become a trusted voice on the correlation between health and beauty. Follow her journey on Instagram and connect with her via nicollemackinnon.com.

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