Join Heather Peters as she discusses blue light glasses with Savannah Sheets of Western Carolina Eye Associates as she answers:

  • What are the benefits?
  • How are we exposed to blue light?
  • Do we need to use blue light glasses?
  • What qualities should we look for when purchasing glasses?
  • Are there other side effects of electronic use that we should be aware of?
  • Where can we find blue light glasses?

Video Transcript

Heather Peters (00:05):

Hey guys, it’s Heather with elevation Hill. I’m here today with Dr. Savannah sheets. Um, I had reached out to consult her because I had some questions about blue light glasses during the quarantine. I know we’re all using more technology and I’m spending a lot more hours and a lot more time. And there’s all the hype now about blue light glasses and how they can protect us and our eyes from damage from the technology. So I really didn’t know much about them. So I reached out to her. Um, and I’ll let you introduce yourself a little bit more where you work and what you do, that kind of thing, but.

Savannah Sheets (00:41):

Well, I’m Savannah Sheets, I’m an optometrist at Western Carolina Eye associates. I started in July, I’m born and raised in Ashe County. So I’ve known Heather for a very long time. So here we are. Yeah.

Heather Peters (00:54):

So we’ll start. Um, at first, wanted to know what are the benefits like overall? What are some benefits of blue light glasses and are they necessary?

Savannah Sheets (01:02):

Well, blue light itself is on the back. The vision spectrum is on the higher end with shorter wavelengths. So it can cause a little bit more damage to the eyes. And by that is more causing of an eyestrain can sometimes cause retinal photo toxicity. So basically that means there is some links to macular degeneration and other things with the back of the eye. Some people say it does cause retinal issues and some research says it does not. The biggest thing with blue light is it can cause headaches, eye strain, and um, sometimes glasses are necessary. If you’re symptomatic, you may be having, um, headaches and eye strain just because you have uncorrected prescription for that distance that you may need to see your eye doctor for first to get that correcte

Savannah Sheets (01:50):

Um, if you still have the eye strain, headaches and things like that, then the blue light may be beneficial, especially if you’re on the computer or on a phone all day long.

Heather Peters (01:59):

Okay. So are we exposed to blue light from other sources and computers and like screen time?

Savannah Sheets (02:06):

So of course you have your electronics, your e-readers, your phones, computers, anything with an led screen, but also the sunlight has blue light in it as well. It’s on the visual spectrum. So that’s partially why this clouds look blue and white is from the blue light. So you get it pretty much everywhere, but it’s necessary. It helps you with your mood. It keeps you alert. It keeps your circadian rhythm intact. So it helps the helps the melatonin sites stay suppressed during the day. So that’s why at nighttime, when you’re on the phone or on your computer up close, you don’t sleep as well because your circadian rhythm is not properly balanced.

Heather Peters (02:44):

Sure. So there should be certain times of the day, then we’re exposed more than others.

Savannah Sheets (02:49):


Heather Peters (02:51):

Um, are there certain qualities in blue light glasses that we need to look for or specific types?

Savannah Sheets (02:58):

As far specific types? We usually do it with an optical shop and stuff. So there are options online. Several doctors recommend certain brands because they have the correct blue light. That’s blocked. There’s a specific wavelength range that you want to be blocked in order to have it be beneficial, several shops online. I have a list here that you can post that, um, I’ve seen that other people recommend and you can do those. Yes. But if you have a prescription, it’s going to be best to just have something added on to your glasses. So if you have glasses that you need to wear for the computer or far away, you may just need the blue light addition to your glasses to help.

Heather Peters (03:38):

Okay. So are there, um, potential like effects of extended or I know there are, I guess, can you talk a little bit more about extended effects of electronic use or computer screen time, especially for kids now? Cause I know that there are more so than when I was growing up because we didn’t have that. So it’s more of a newer thing and we’re learning more about it. So can you enlighten us a little bit on what that does to the eye and maybe other things?

Savannah Sheets (04:10):

So of course you have your eye strain headaches and that can be from uncorrected prescriptions. You can sometimes have, um, early presbyopes. So that would be those that are 40, 45 starting to notice that their arms aren’t quite as long as they used to be. Um, then you’re going to notice a little bit more eye strain headaches at that distance that you’re trying to look on the computer or phone.

Savannah Sheets (04:31):

Um, there’s also a children. There’s what we call accommodation, which is where your lens moves to help you see focus things up close versus far away. There are some different issues with children that aren’t able, they’re not able to use that appropriately. And when they’re on the computers or phones, that becomes more of a problem for them because they’ve not been corrected for it. Um, with blue light itself, kids are on it a lot, um, with the devices and the screens. If they’re looking at it up close, it can increase their likelihood of developing myopia or nearsightedness. So they may have an increased risk of needing glasses because they’re focusing up here instead of the real world far away. And that’s why we usually recommend children’s stay looking outside for like two hours a day or so just to at least stimulate that far away view with the, without using their devices up close.

Savannah Sheets (05:27):

Um, there’s other things with children like those that are two and younger, there was a study that said at KME related to developmental delays. So, um, I haven’t learned much about that. I was researching it a little bit, but that is one thing when you have children that are younger, especially the little ages, try to not do as much phone time and do more of a interaction time.

Heather Peters (05:46):

Sure, hands on. I know the American Academy of pediatrics published some guidelines for screen time, by age, and I can link that information in the blog along with this post too, so that people have that information. So, um, so you’re going to share with us, um, I can put a link for where people can find the glasses and where you are and um, the optical shops that you recommend and that kind of thing, um, online versus in person, if they don’t want to go in person right now. So I’ll share that information. And if you have any questions or comments or anything like that, feel free to reach out to either one of us. I’ll leave both of our, um, contact information with, um, the blog and the video. So hope this helps and gives you a little bit of information, um, as it did me.