Do Kids Need Blue Light Glasses?

Posted by Jaclyn Edelstein on

Even with tons of advice flooding the internet to reduce your child’s screen time, kids are still spending more time on screens than ever.

According to the CDC, kids ages 8 - 10 have up to six hours of screen time daily, while their age 11-14 counterparts spend up to nine hours.

While these screens are entertaining and educational, they expose your child to blue light, which brings us to our next question; do kids need blue light glasses? If you’ve been pondering over this for a while, read on for a detailed answer.

What is Blue Light?

Blue light is one of the color bands in the visible light spectrum. It is a high-energy electromagnetic wave with short wavelengths (between 380 and 500 nanometers). Although it’s commonly associated with screens, blue light is everywhere.

Natural blue light is produced by the sun and is even the reason why the sky is blue. Artificial sources of blue light include:

  • LED lights
  • Fluorescent lights
  • Tablets and smartphones
  • TV and computer screens

Despite the negative air around it, blue light isn’t all bad.Blue light, especially natural, improves memory and cognitive function, boosts alertness and even betters your mood. It also helps regulate the circadian rhythm and alleviate short-sightedness.

Do Kids Need Blue Light Glasses?

Blue light glasses feature specially designed lenses to filter out and reduce exposure. High-quality glasses can filter out up to 23% of blue light without impeding vision quality. So, should you consider blue light glasses for kids? Yes, here’s why:

They Prevent Digital Eye Strain

The eye’s cornea and crystalline lens naturally protect the retina by filtering damaging ultraviolet light. Unfortunately, they cannot filter out visible blue light, meaning the retina and important photoreceptors absorb it. This results in oxidative and thermal stress, leading to eye strain, dry eyes, headaches, and mental fatigue.

Continuous exposure speeds up photoreceptor death, increasing the risk of macular degeneration. For kids, the risk of eye strain and vision problems is even higher because their lens absorbs less short-wavelength light, increasing retinal exposure to blue light. According to a Vision Council report, 9.1% of kids who spend two or more hours in front of screens experience dry or irritated eyes. In comparison, 8.8% of others complain of headaches.

Because they filter it out, blue light kids’ glasses help limit the exposure. So, your child enjoys screen time without experiencing eye strain and other vision problems caused by blue light, such as cataracts and blurred vision.

Helps Improve Your Child’s Sleep Cycle

When it starts getting darker, photoreceptors trigger the production of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. Since it’s a high-energy electromagnetic wave, exposure to blue light at night stimulates the ganglion cell light sensors that regulate the human circadian rhythms, consequently suppressing melatonin production.

In research by the University of Toronto, participants exposed to bright indoor light with blue-light glasses and those exposed to dim light without glasses had similar melatonin levels, confirming blue light actually suppressed the sleep hormone.

Unfortunately, this often results in sleep problems and can decrease your child’s healthy sleep time by approximately 14 minutes every night.

Having your child wear blue light glasses when on their tablet, smartphone, or any other digital device at night reduces their exposure. This way, they can sleep better even after hours of zoom classes or video chatting with their buddies.

Blue Light Glasses Mean Less Health Problems

When it suppresses melatonin, blue light stimulates the production of cortisol, a stress hormone known to interfere with sleep and is associated with countless health problems. Over time, not getting enough sleep puts your child at risk of:

  • Memory loss
  • Cardiovascular conditions
  • Depression
  • Weight gain and obesity
  • Diabetes

While blue light glasses won’t absorb the entire wavelength, they prevent a large percentage of it from reaching the eye, making it easier for the cornea and lens to filter the small percentage remaining. This protects the light-sensitive retina, helps your child sleep better, and prevents the sleep-related problems outlined above.

Choosing Blue Light Glasses for Kids

A Google search for blue light glasses for kids will reveal countless options. To select quality blue light glasses, consider:

Lens Color

Some blue light kids glasses feature a clean lens, while others spot a yellow one. These colors affect how much blue light they can filter. For instance, clean lenses blue light glasses can block up to 40%, preventing vision problems and promoting better sleep.  Orange lenses, on the other hand, block about 98%.

Although they’re probably the most efficient, orange lenses aren’t recommended for children since they block out too much blue light.

Natural blue light is essential during the day. It keeps the body’s biological clock and circadian rhythms in sync with the sunrise and sunset. So, prioritize the lenses color when choosing blue light glasses for kids.

Your Child’s Style

Just as with lenses, blue light glasses feature different frame designs. Some are fully framed, while others feature a semi-rimless or completely rimless design.  The lens material also varies. The common options being:

  • Glass
  • Polycarbonate plastic lenses
  • Aspheric lenses

Also, some blue light glasses feature a metallic frame, while others have a plastic one. To ensure you get your kids glasses they’ll enjoy and willfully wear, let your child pick out their frames.

It shouldn’t be too big, as larger frames often feature thicker lenses, making the glasses uncomfortable and even cause blurry peripheral vision.  While at it, check the bridge fit, temple style and the spring hinges to get the right fit and perfect blue light glasses for kids.

Discover Quality Blue Light Glasses for Kids

Even though blue light isn’t all bad, it can have a detrimental impact on your child’s vision and overall well being. Limiting your child’s screen time is an effective way to limit exposure. However, in this age of online schooling, that’s almost impossible.

Get your child a pair of quality blue glasses, and have peace of mind knowing their eyes are well-protected whenever they use digital devices.

Contact us, or browse our selection of premium quality, perfectly-fitting blue light glasses for kids today.

Newer Post →