No scientific evidence backs the use of blue ray eyeglasses


Eyewear sector’s business is up as screen time rises

By Sneha T S

People are shifting towards blue ray glasses as they are claimed to be blocking 90 per cent of these rays.

There is no scientific evidence that screen light damages eyesight. Some experts recommend blue ray glasses and some do not.

Gaurav C, an optometrist, explained to The Observer: “Every spectrum of light has different wavelengths. Blue ray is the one with the shortest wavelength. It is emitted by electronic devices and has extremely high energy which can penetrate the lens and can badly affect the retina.”

He recommends blue ray glasses and believes they can protect one from blue rays. He suggests two to three hours of screen time for adults, and not more than one hour for children.

But the American Academy of Ophthalmology states that there is no scientific evidence that light emitted from computer screens damages the eyes. It recommends the 20-20-20 rule which states that for every 20 minutes of using a digital screen, shifting eyes and looking at an object that is at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds helps in relieving eye strain.

According to Lenskart, digital devices like phones, laptops and tablets emit harmful blue rays that can damage our eyes.

T.S. Rajiv, owner of a Lenskart franchise store, said blue light exposure can cause eye strain and headaches. It can also affect a person’s sleep pattern. Blue ray glasses block 90 per cent of the exposure from these rays.

“Due to the lockdown, employees had to work from home which increased their screen time and, hence, the sales of blue ray glasses increased. These days many companies follow the hybrid model. Therefore, the demand for these glasses even after the lockdown has remained constant. Earlier, this segment came under the category of ‘wants’; now it has become a need.”

About the popularity of these glasses, he said: “These glasses are popular among all age groups, even among the school-going children. Parents now consider buying these glasses for their children. The sale of these glasses has increased by 60 per cent post-pandemic” 

These glasses are generally not sold on the recommendation of doctors.

Nithu P, mother of a five-year-old said: “My daughter’s academic session began during the pandemic in 2020. Her school life started with online classes. She used to attend her classes either on laptop or tablet which strained her eyes. At first, I did not pay much heed to it. Eventually her screen time increased. Last year, I noticed that her eyes became watery after certain hours that she spent in front the laptop so I bought her blue ray glasses.”

Asked about the effectiveness of these glasses, she said she did not notice any apparent change.

Akash S, a Civil Services aspirant, said: “I have been wearing corrective glasses for years. I got to know about blue ray glasses recently. My sister recommended them to me. I think that they are definitely different from normal eyeglasses. I use these glasses when I have to spend long hours reading on the screen.”

He noticed a difference but said the glasses are not the solution to solve the problem of eye strain; one should limit his/her screen time.

The glass is being marketed to such an extent that people who do not spend many hours on screen are also buying it.

Jyoti A, a homemaker said: “Buying these glasses is a waste of money, but my children forced me to buy them. Unlike them, I do not have to spend hours on screen. I use them only while watching television.”

Dr Lijo Joseph, an ophthalmologist, said blue ray glasses have become quite popular because people‘s screen time has increased by 30 to 40 times. “I generally never recommend blue ray glasses to my patients. Only in rare cases have I recommended them. For instance, a student had approached me saying that she was facing difficulty while reading notes from her smartphone ,I did recommend these glasses to her.”

He added: “We humans can tolerate a minimum amount of blue light. Even the sun emits blue light. Yes, the intensity may be less. It is not (such) a major problem that one needs to wear specific glasses for it. Limiting one‘s screen time is the best option. Also there are other technologies like anti-blue light screen protectors (it is like a coating or shield) for digital glasses. That is why I do not recommend blue ray glasses.”

Dibin P, who works at Titan Eye Plus, said: “Sales have increased by 75 per cent. I can say we sold around 200 blue ray glasses last month. After bifocals this is the segment in which we are doing well.”

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