Beware of blue light blocking glasses sold in drugstores!
You can find blue light blocking glasses in many drugstores, a place you would trust for recommendations. Unfortunately, though, a large majority of the products offered are still not up to standard.
If you ask your pharmacist for advice, it’s likely you’ll actually receive the wrong information on blue light filtering glasses. That’s because there’s no industry standard and training on these glasses is surface level, at best.
In this article:
- Anti-blue light glasses: the truth behind the frames
- Why it's not a good idea to buy in pharmacies
- Where to buy blue light blocking glasses
- Selection criteria
There are lots of ineffective products
No industry standards set out yet
Blue light isn’t new, it’s been around longer than we have, but it’s only become as important to consider in the new age digital devices. That’s because of the creation of screens which emit blue light, letting more harmful rays into our lives than ever before. Like that partner you keep taking back, even though everyone tells you not to.
This is also in addition to natural sunlight, which already produces harmful blue light. Coupled with our reliance on screen time, you’re at risk of overexposure, which will tire and potentially damage your eyes, leading to long term health effects like dry eye, Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), or other eye disease.
Since the first studies appeared on the effects of harmful blue light, a bunch of products have been created to capitalize and make money off the issue. But as there’s no industry standard, some of these solutions are as effective as drinking bleach to prevent COVID-19. The other problem is that these products are distributed online, in grocery markets and even in drugstores, making them appear legitimate.
At least though, you can ensure the blue light glasses pharmacy and drugstores stock meet the standards for sunglasses.
In North America, all sunglasses should follow the standard set by ANSI Z80.3.
Birth of a standard: what renowned studies and ophthalmologists have to say
The important takeaway from these studies on the dangers of blue light is that not all blue light is harmful. They do show though, what the dangers are, and at which frequencies and wavelengths it should be filtered out. Another key consideration is the time of day you’re exposed to blue light.
🌞 During the day: You should filter the most harmful parts of blue light. That’s just above the UV wavelengths at 380 to 450 nanometers.
🌙 In the evening: all blue light should be filtered 3 hours before bedtime to lessen the effects of blue light on the production of melatonin (the sleep hormone). That means no screen time before bed… put down your digital device!
As well as blue light, the TV or any other digital screen also emits lots of reflections which can make your eyes even more tired. With an effective anti-glare treatment on blue light glasses, we can also reduce digital eye strain (computer vision syndrome) and fatigue before bed.
Plus, don’t forget to take UV light into account. It’s much less present indoors but still sneaks its way in. And if, like us, you spend lots of time outdoors, surfing or BBQing, or even working on a computer outside; then it’s essential to ensure your blue light filtering glasses also have UV protection.
Checking the blue light glasses pharmacy and drugstores offer: are they a good idea after all?
Drug stores are also businesses and to operate, they must sell products. Even though you’d think they made enough of medication alone. Thanks, Big Pharma!
With the new awareness of blue light, we can hardly blame drugstores for promoting these products. They think they’re helping preserve the eye health of their customers, even with no standards in place.
Unfortunately though, when it comes to blue light, pharmacists don’t really have the necessary expertise to choose the right products, or advise you on which to choose yourself for optimal eye care.
Here’s a simple test to see if your pharmacist actually does have some blue light knowledge. Simply ask them “What percentage of blue light is filtered by your glasses, and on what frequency?” We bet you 9 out of 10 won’t know the answer.
The truth is, most blue light glasses pharmacy and drugstores stock are generic and filter out less than 20% of harmful blue light most of the time.
How and where to buy blue light blocking glasses
Choosing your glasses
No matter what glasses you buy, like a match on eHarmony, there are certain boxes they need to tick. They must:
- ☀️ Filter out 100% of UV rays.
- 🛡️ Filter out 100% of the ultra-harmful blue light between 380 and 400 nanometers.
- 🛡️Filter out as much harmful blue light as possible over the extended spectrum of visible light, between 380 and 450 nanometers.
- 🔵 For evening use: filter a maximum of the entire spectrum of blue light (from 380 to 500 nanometers).
- ✨ Be equipped with powerful anti-glare.
There are, of course, other criteria such as aesthetics or ergonomics, but you can decide comfort and style after you’ve filtered down your options by the most important criteria—protection!
Where should I buy blue light blocking glasses?
As we’ve covered, places like drugstores stock blue light glasses, but we don’t necessarily recommend purchasing from them.
Of course, it’s your choice where to go, but wherever that is, check the filtration criteria on the glasses carefully. If a brand boasts that their glasses block blue light, but have no information on filtration, then you should drop that pair quicker than guards come when you kill chickens in Skyrim.
👉 The easiest way is to buy online from an expert brand in the field.
That’s because they know what they’re talking about, and you can check the reviews of actual customers. Plus… free delivery!
You wouldn't buy your reading glasses from anyone other than an expert in the field, why should your blue light glasses be any different?
Some even have the snazzy futuristic ability to try on the glasses online with 3D fittings that take your face size into account.
For everyday, daytime usage, our attractive Nomadic collection is the way to go. The Ushuaia anti-blue light glasses have optimal filtration while still looking stylish.
For evening use, sensitive eyes, or intense binge-watchers/game players, you need something stronger. That’s why we’ve developed a collection equipped with super powerful amber lenses, specifically for gamers who spend hours staring at the computer screen.
Our favorites? The Gaming Revolution.
Now it’s not just Henry Cavill who can study Geralt with a disturbingly deep intensity.
Finding blue light blocking glasses in drugstores: Final thoughts
Blue light blocking glasses are still a relatively new product compared to other lenses like sunglasses. And just like sunglasses took decades to have a legal standard created, we’re still waiting for the same with blue light glasses.
But various studies and experts have confirmed that there is a certain level of necessary protection, making it possible for a framework to be established. It might not yet be in law, but the science is there and tells us what to look for in our blue light filtering glasses protection.
Any questions? Comment below or contact us on social media!
P.S: We love you drug stores and pharmacies; you work hard. We just want to shake things up and highlight where market standards should be. Hopefully, we enlightened you (without any blue light exposure, of course).