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Blue Blocker Glasses

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  • Blue Blocker Glasses

    I want to share my experiences with blue blocker glasses. I just discovered some that work wonders with my red swollen eyelids.

    I have Sjogrens so I have a history of red, swollen eyelids and dry eyes. In January, I had fairly extensive eyelid surgery on both eyes. The wounds healed on schedule, but the swelling and redness refused to diminish. At times, my eyes almost swelled shut. I tried warm packs, cold packs, steroids, antibiotics, everything the doctors could suggest.

    I work on the computer, so after 2 weeks, I had to go back online. I could feel my eyelids sizzling when I sat at the computer screen. I read somewhere that not only UV light (below 400 nm), but also the low wavelength blue light (sometimes called HEV, usually bounded by 400-500 nm) can negatively affect eyes. I also have Lupus, which makes me very UV sensitive on my skin. So I thought blue blockers might help me. I ordered some cheap yellow tinted glasses (eyekepper) and found slight relief. So I did some more research on blue blocking glasses. Most of the research and commercial applications are aimed at sleep disorders, but the science is the same. (And all of these glasses block all UV.)

    I chatted with the f.lux program people. They are very knowledgeable and have various custom programs people can put on their computers. I highly recommend communicating with them if you're interested in using f.lux to reduce your computer emissions. But none seemed to be just what I needed.

    Here is a good article on light sensitivity and blue blocking:

    This article below follows up with specific brands of blue blocker glasses and their spectrograms showing how much of the blue light they filter. Most of the blue coatings that optical companies put on glasses filter out a very small portion of blue light. It helps with glare, but isn't helpful to people with medical issues (see for example., the spectrogram for BlueTech lenses in this reference).

    First, I tried UVEX glasses (easy to find online) These are cheap and block all blue light. They're the gold standard and thus, good for figuring out whether blue blockers will help. They're also ugly, look like safety glasses, and don't fit well. But my eyes breathed a sigh of relief and the swelling and redness is going down steadily (along with cool packs). So I've now found other sources of better fitting glasses that work well. These are the ones I like (FWIW):

    Spectra479 dot com. This is the only company that sells wraparound total blue blocker glasses. Mine are coming in the mail today, but they got great reviews.

    Readingglassesetc dot com sell regular looking eyeglasses, many styles, with different coating options that block out different portions of the blue spectrum. their darkest tint seems almost comparable with the UVEX glasses. And importantly, they come in both readers (1.0, 1.5, etc.) and prescription options for a reasonable price. They also provide the spectrograms which show the specific amounts of blue light blocked. I have trouble navigating to that page, so here is the link to the tint spectrograms:

    I also bought some Gunnar gaming glasses. They are made for computer use by gamers who spend long hours staring at a computer screen. I kept them even though the blue blocking is only partial. They're wraparound and extremely lightweight and comfortable (and look cool). I wear them when I go out so I don't look quite so freakish!

    Another company that sounds promising is NoIR, but they don't yet sell online.

    BTW, various of these glasses also make claims for improving sleep and diminishing migraines, so maybe they'll help in other ways!

    I hope this summary helps someone who wants to explore blue blocking. (And of course, I don't have any commercial interest in any of companies.)

  • #2
    BTW, Another thing I learned from my reading is that many patients who have cataract (and other?) surgery increase, at least temporarily, sensitivity to UV light.