Blue light emitted from PC screens can cause eye fatigue, and with many of us sitting in front of monitors for hours on end, it can only be a good thing to reduce the amount of blue light hitting the eyes. Thankfully, monitor manufacturers are rolling out new screens that include some protection, but even with the new technology, it's still possible to come away feeling drained.
This is where computer glasses come into play, marketing a more comfortable viewing experience. Here's how they're supposed to work.
How lenses work
Eyestrain experienced when in front of a computer screen is usually caused by how we use the PC, and how we have our environment set up and configured. Using a super-bright display at night and in the dark will certainly not be as comfortable as using a calibrated display in a well-lit room. Where blue light can affect you directly is when you try and get some sleep.
The blue light tells your brain that it's sunny and the day is still ongoing, which is why it can prove difficult to close the eyes and get restful sleep. Wearing computer glasses and having your monitor set up correctly can aid this by reducing the amount of strain your body is put under, as well as the amount of blue light hitting the eyes. How these glasses achieve this is through the special lenses.
The lenses found in these glasses include an anti-reflective coating, a tint or other form of blue light filter, as well as protection against water, oil, and dust to combat any particles that may hit the lens — these small particles can have a negative effect on vision. Computer glasses won't protect you from permanent damage, nor will they solve all the issues you may have with sitting at a computer screen, but they may help in some regard.
You also shouldn't remove blue light completely since it helps stimulate the body during the day. It's a little like UV radiation from the sun; a restrictive amount is great, with some benefits, but get too much and you'll do more harm than good.
See Gunnar glasses at Amazon (opens in new tab)
While many will rally around HyperX (opens in new tab), Gunnar (opens in new tab) and other companies that make computer glasses, there are studies that counter the argument for purchasing them. Not only that but monitor vendors are already releasing new screens with technologies included aiding in combating eye strain. I wear computer glasses, but I don't see them as an accessory that will magically fix your visual issues. They're just one part of a healthy computing lifestyle.
Your position in front of the monitor matters more than you may believe. It's best to position the screen so you are looking at it ever so slightly downward. Matte screens can also help in reducing glare, and by having adequate room lighting you can reduce issues. You should aldo get into the habit of taking regular breaks. Sure, that new game you just bought needs a full five hours of constant attention, but pausing the game every 20 or so minutes and going for a quick walk around the house to focus on other objects can really help. It's also a good idea to try to blink often.
Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.
I always have to struggle to remember to blink and look away. My newest part of glasses have the blue light filter there and my eyes seem to hurt less when looking at screens. I almost can't remember how my life was before. Thanks for the reminder. Being a student in a InfoSci program, all of my readings are on a screen. My work/job is also necessary to use a computer 95% of the time and let's not get into my phone usage lol...
Maybe you can code a timer to tell yourself to blink?
I use 'computer glasses', but they go behind my regular glasses to give me the mid range focus like bifocals.
I use them and noticed immediately the reduction in eye strain. I will always use them from on.
How is it different from Night Light redshift?
Things like Night Light features change the color of the screen. The changed colors I actually find more difficult to see. Perhaps it is a matter of playing with the config to get it right. But the computer glasses don't 'change' the screen color at all. They just filter out the harsh lights from having an impact on your eyes.
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