Contrary to popular belief, blue light blockers do not cure eye irritation but can be helpful at night. Image Credit: Unsplash/Susan Duran

We usually ascribe computer eyestrain and dry eyes to blue light exposure, but many experts would disagree. This short wavelength on the visible light spectrum helps us stay up during the day, thanks to the sun being the biggest source of blue light (among others). It keeps us alert and regulates our mood. Besides sunlight, our day-to-day electronic devices also emit blue wavelengths. If it's not responsible for tired eyes and headaches, then, why are blue light filtering glasses so popular?

Do blue light blocking glasses reduce eyestrain?

Nearly all the latest smartphones, tablets and laptops let you turn on something called a blue light filter. Once the device filters out the colour, the screen dims to a warm yellow, making nighttime browsing seemingly 'gentler' on the eyes. However, science says that blue light isn't to blame for digital eyestrain.

"There's been no scientific data yet to prove that blue light causes digital eyestrain," said Dr Prashant Bhatia, a specialist ophthalmologist at Vista Healthcare Clinic, The Eye Pavilion in Dubai. "The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) clearly states that blue light from devices will not lead to any eye disease, and doesn't recommend blue light blocking eyewear for this reason."

When we work long hours in front of the screen and doomscroll in bed, without breaks or sufficient blinking, it causes us to strain our eyes. Dr Bhatia adds that dry, irritated eyes and headaches could be because of computer vision syndrome. "To reduce eye fatigue, we give advice, such as taking a break from the screen using the 20-20-20 rule: look away after every 20 minutes and stare at an object 20 feet (six metres) away for 20 seconds," he said.

How might blue light blocking glasses help?

Where blue light could be a concern, is to do with our sleep. Light helps to synchronise our biological clock, which explains why we naturally get sleepy past sunset. A study in the US-based Journal of Applied Physiology in 2011 found what researchers have been saying all along: Blue light exposure from LED screens at night disrupts our sleep-wake cycle, by suppressing the sleep hormone, melatonin.

Excessive exposure to this wavelength can make it difficult to fall asleep. So, can blue light blocking glasses improve our rest? Dr Bhatia says this is arguable as there's no conclusive evidence. Sometimes, the lenses may not filter certain blue wavelengths that our body clock is the most sensitive to. An alternative is keeping away from screens for at least two hours before bed. Nevertheless, our expert adds, blue light blocking glasses don't harm the wearer.

If you'd like to take a chance on a solid pair, or simply pick up one for its fashion aesthetics, we've scoured Amazon for glasses that reviewers have tried and tested. Make sure to shop with a Prime membership for free same- or next-day delivery.

1. Best Overall: Felix Gray Nash Blue Light Blocking Computer Glasses

Felix Gray uses its own filtering technology, embedded within the lenses, to block 50 per cent of blue light, of which 90 per cent makes up the highest range. The square-framed Nash glasses suit all face shapes, from oval to round, and sit smartly on the bridge. They're hand-finished Italian acetate frames, with proprietary blue light lenses that are also coated in anti-glare and UV (ultraviolet) protection. Reviewers say they've felt a noticeable difference in eye comfort levels with these on than without, mentioning long hours in front of the computer. They also add that since there is no filter coating on the lenses, the glasses don't distort their vision.

2. Best Acetate Frame: Prospek Premium Computer Glasses

Another classic acetate frame to consider is by Prospek. For this pair, it's the multi-layer coating that filters out 50 per cent of blue light, while promising no colour distortion. They're also less susceptible to fogging, UV rays and glares. Reviews note that there's a slight yellow tint to the clear lenses. Some say they've not experienced headaches at work ever since wearing these and even point out seeing better contrast on the display. Others report nodding off despite streaming TV shows at night.

Warranty: The manufacturer offers a 90-day money-back guarantee.

3. Best Design: GUNNAR Optiks Gaming/Computer Glasses, Ellipse

For a stylish pair when you're out and about, check out Gunnar Optiks' stainless-steel frame with round lenses that resemble Ray-Bans. The handcrafted glasses use a patented lens technology to reduce eye fatigue and promote better sleep, through amber lenses that block 65 per cent of blue light. The pair also works against UV light. According to reviewers, they might run small for some, but commend the thick lenses and premium make.

4. Best Value for Gaming: Horus X Blue Light Blocking Glasses

With a sporty silhouette, these Horus X glasses are specially designed for gaming. Though they look heavy, they only weigh 27 grams due to the lightweight polycarbonate material. The tinted lenses are UV-treated, anti-reflective and anti-scratch. Gamers in the reviews who play long sessions in front of the computer leave five-star ratings. They find the colours sharper and brighter, and find themselves resting better after an entire night of gaming.

Warranty: The manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty.

5. Best Clip-On Glasses: Prospek Clip-On Blue Light Blocking Glasses

If you already wear a prescription pair, get clip-on blue light blockers. These lenses by Prospek fit most glasses with a pinching mechanism at the bridge, and filter 50 per cent of blue light. Happy reviewers report no headaches, and say that the pair clips on and off easily, without any noticeable discomfort from wearing double lenses. They also say their eyes no longer sting or burn in front of screens.

Warranty: The manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.