If you watch e-sports, or listen to any sort of gaming podcast, you may have heard of computer glasses. The basic idea is that wearing these amber-tinted glasses will help protect your eyes from the blue light emitted by computer monitors/phone screens.
As I’ve mentioned before in a podcast about sleep, blue light can really screw up your sleep cycle. So, when you’re watching twitch streams in bed at night, or even just playing Pokemon Go in the bathroom (no judgment) before getting ready for bed, you;re actually damaging your chances of getting a good night’s sleep.
What they heck is blue light?
Blue light refers to a wavelength of light emitted from screens, but also in natural sources like the sun. Blue light is healthy in the appropriate doses, and at the appropriate times. For instance, it’s good to expose yourself to blue light (from the sun, or an electronic source, if you live in a dark area) upon waking, to trigger your brain to kick into morning mode.
However, constant exposure to blue light will not only prevent your brain from cycling into sleep mode properly, but research now shows that overexposure to blue light from screens can lead to macular degeneration, and even contribute to diabetes, obesity and certain cancers. Yikes.
So, why should I wear computer glasses?
Computer glasses aim to reduce this blue light exposure so that your eyes can rest every now and then. This isn’t just important for gamers, but also for basically everyone who uses a computer frequently, including a tablet or phone. So, you know, all of us.
There’s the idea as well that when we use computers, we’re less likely to blink as often, and so our eyes will tend to become drier. Supposedly, using computer glasses can help to keep moisture in, which is also better for your eyes.
Test run: Do computer glasses work?
In the interest of trying to preserve our (somewhat pathetic) sleep cycles, and future health, CM and I each invested in a pair of these bad boys to see what the difference was. We’re both avid gamers and cell-phone users (including as a way to fall asleep at night…I know…), so clearly we get plenty of blue light sprinkled throughout our day.
The criteria is based on a few things:
- Ease of falling asleep
- Eye “dryness”
- Eye strain alleviation
- Ease of computer use with glasses on
Factors like comfort and style are subjective, and vary across brands, so we went for the basic stats. We’ve each been wearing them for a week, and found some good results.
Ease of Falling Asleep
This was a big one for me – I typically toss and turn for a while (sometimes hours) until I can actually get to bed, no matter how tired I am. I wore these glasses all day while using my computer, and seriously within a few days, I noticed that I was actually able to fall asleep within a few minutes of getting in bed, and didn’t even need to go through the whole “watch endless youtube videos” thing to fall asleep.
CM said that not only does he fall asleep faster now, but he wakes up feeling “less cracked out.” Definitely a win!
Honestly, I’ve never really noticed my eyes being particularly dry while using the computer, so this was more for CM, who always complains about dry eyes.
He said that he has noticed a bit of a decrease in eye dryness, despite having aimed a fan at his face all week.
Okay, so while I hadn’t really noticed dry eyes before, I’d certainly felt some eye strain and had some light headaches from too much screen time. While I’ve tried to keep up with eye exercises, it can be difficult to remember all the time! Plus, some of the strain was likely due to the brightness of the screen.
So, after a few days of wearing the glasses, I’ve noticed that a lot of that strained feeling has disappeared! Huzzah! I think I’ll need to keep wearing them for a while to see if there are any long term effects, but the improvement isn’t bad for a week.
Ease of Computer Use With Glasses On
So, CM and I both kind of expected to be a bit annoyed at first, wearing the glasses. He plays a lot of Overwatch, and really needs to see what’s going on in-game in terms of effects. While I’ve spent most of my gaming time playing Pokemon Yellow and Pokemon Crystal lately and wasn’t really worried about missing details, I do get really annoyed when colors are off.
Much to our surprise, the glasses didn’t detract from either of our computer experiences! CM was still able to keep up with Overwatch (and WoW), and I wasn’t irritated. Victories all around! This is important, because if the experience is off, you just won’t want to bother with the hassle. Fortunately, wearing computer glasses proved not to be hindering.
Final Thoughts on Wearing Computer Glasses
At the end of the first week wearing these, we’ve both decided that this was a solid purchase, and will continue wearing the glasses in the future. Even just the sleep improvements alone were enough to motivate us to start wearing these any time we use the computer, and not just at night. I would definitely recommend snagging a pair of computer glasses to anyone who uses a computer frequently!
Final score: 4.5/5 stars