I'd heard of blue light blocking glasses before: They were yellow, ugly, and not worth the laughter I would get from both roommates and coworkers if I wore them regularly.
But, I had a problem: For my job, I needed to spend a minimum of eight hours a day staring at a computer screen. Plus, unfortunately, in my downtime after work, I would often find myself staring at another, smaller screen: the rectangle of my iPhone X, which would constantly beam more blue light into my face.
I often felt like my eyes were red and tired by the end of the day, and wouldn't feel the ache begin to lift until I finally turned off my devices. According to The Vision Council, 200 million Americans report symptoms of digital eye strain (DES), eye discomfort which can be caused from looking at a screen for more than two hours at a time.
Blue light itself isn't a bad thing. It's everywhere, including in sunlight. Researchers have determined that blue wavelengths — at the high end of the light spectrum, right before UV — are beneficial during daylight hours because they boost attention, reaction times, and mood.
Until fairly recently, humans were mostly exposed to natural light during the day and darkness at night. But now we're constantly bathing in artificial light, most of it blue. Too much exposure to blue light at night suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep cycles.