Should You Pack Blue Light Glasses for College?

Originally published by dormMD, but our kids don’t have to be in college to benefit from some eye protection, as the fall is going to mean hours more in front of screens. Little kid sizes are available too! I just bought some for myself and my 10 year olds. For $20 on Amazon, it’s worth a try.

While virtual learning may protect you from coronavirus, it carries with it a slew of other health risks. Perhaps you have already noticed some of the symptoms associated with staring at a screen all day. In addition to the obvious eye strain, you may have also experienced headaches, fatigue and insomnia, at least some of which may be attributed to the blue light emitted by our screens. Blue light is the shortest wavelength, highest energy visible light. While the jury is still out on just how much damage it can do to eyes, some studies have revealed it messes with our circadian rhythm. Many eye doctors say it is the time spent in front of the screen that causes the eye strain, and simply to use screens less. Easier said than done in the pandemic. There is a good chance you will be staring at it for hours every day in the fall. Not only will your virtual classes require it, with all the on-campus restrictions, you’ll likely be using your phone and laptop as a source of entertainment. If you can’t play beer pong, you will probably be watching a lot more Netflix.

Anecdotally, many people who started wearing blue light glasses report a decrease in eye strain and better sleep. My teenagers started wearing them this spring, and within a few days noticed a positive difference in how tired their eyes were and how quickly they were able to fall asleep. For the price, it may be worth the investment to give them a try.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on blue light glasses, but if you are considering a pair, look for ones made by a reputable manufacturer. We got ours on Amazon, and they seem to be doing the job. If nothing else, they will make you look smarter!
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Author: Karen Latimer

Dr. Latimer is a Family Physician and Wellness Coach. She helps clients with parenting issues, the challenges of college and young adulthood and issues related to health and habits. Email her at to learn more. She is the author of the Audible Original, Take Back the House -- Raising Happy Parents.


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