Posted 14 September 2020
Blue light from our electronics is said to be harmful, and “blue blocking” glasses are touted as a panacea to numerous health issues. Is there any evidence to substantiate these claims?
Like a lot of people, I’ve been spending a lot more time staring at a computer screen lately. I have been working from home since March, and what used to be face-to-face meetings are now Zoom/Teams/GoToMeeting video calls. With videoconferences and related work, I’m easily spending several more hours per week staring at a computer screen. Afternoon headaches became a common occurrence shortly after this started, which I attributed to screen time and poor ergonomics. School for both of my kids has been transformed to an online environment too, with even more hours per day (above the baseline) spent staring at electronic devices. Recently my daughter told me she was also getting headaches, and she needed “blue light blocking glasses” which would apparently help. (The source of this medical advice was probably TikTok.) I spent some time searching for evidence on blue light exposure, and what I found was a sizeable industry that blames “blue light” for all types of illnesses and holds up special glasses as the panacea. The marketing push for special glasses appears to have accelerated over the past few months given the surge in shelter-at-home orders and the increased reliance on video calls and remote work/education.
Why blue light?
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