Computer Gaming Puts Lots of Strain on Your Eyes: Here’s How to Reduce It
What this Article will Cover
- What blue light is, and what it has to do with gaming
- The negative impact of blue light
- What blue light filtering glasses are
- How blue light filtering works
- Why it’s a bad idea to filter out all blue light
- Variants of gaming glasses available
- My experience with blue light filtering gaming glasses by Visualites
If you are a gamer or desk jockey you’ve probably come to realize that staring at a screen becomes uncomfortable after a while, especially when it’s done for hours on end. After spending prolonged periods of time in front of a screen, many people tend to experience headaches, fatigue, blurred vision, eye strain, dry eyes, and more. This comes as no surprise considering you are being exposed to the negative effects of blue light.
In a recent study by Limelight Networks, we have found that video gamers spend about eight hours and 27 minutes each week playing games, which is an increase of 14% over 2020, according to a new worldwide survey. Limelight Networks also found that 44% of gamers play more than seven hours per week and 25% clock more than 12 hours per week. Extended periods of time spent in front of electronic devices leads to a multitude of health problems that affect your daily life. Fortunately, for those of us who are passionate about gaming, there is a way to minimize the adverse effects of screens with the help of blue light filtering gaming glasses.
What is Blue Light?
According to a medical reference article on WebMD, blue light is one of the many colors on the light spectrum visible to the naked eye. Each color in the visible light spectrum has a different wavelength and energy level. Blue light has shorter wavelengths and higher energy than other colors. Research shows a link between eye damage and short-wave blue light with wavelengths between 415 and 455 nanometers. Most of the light from the LEDs used in smartphones, TVs, and tablets has wavelengths between 400 and 490 nanometers.
Exposure to blue light for long periods of time can cause many side effects, such as the ones listed above. Blue light can also cause harmful long term effects like sleep deprivation, impaired vision, macular degeneration, and cataracts. The obvious solution to preventing the harmful effects of blue light would be to spend less time exposed to screens, but in this world every aspect of our daily lives is smothered in technology. From work to recreation, we are exposed to blue light, making it nearly impossible to not be exposed to the damage of blue light every day. That’s where blue light filtering gaming glasses come into play.
What Are Blue Light Filtering Gaming Glasses?
To put it simply, blue light filtering glasses protect your eyes from blue light. These glasses are built to guard your eyes from these harmful lights so that you can game harder and game longer without feeling the typical effects of spending hours in front of a screen.
Blue light filtering gaming glasses are built to counteract the harmful effects caused by your laptops, TVs, phones, and tablets. Computer screens, iPads, and mobile phones emit HEV light (high-energy visible light), a high-energy, high-frequency light in the blue band of the visible spectrum. Between social media, work, and gaming, most people spend approximately 10 hours a day exposed to harmful blue light while consuming digital media. Gaming glasses are crafted to minimize the damage and reduce the effects of blue light.
How do they work?
Gaming glasses are designed with a blue light filter which blocks a certain percentage of the harmful effects of blue light. Yellow or amber tinted lenses on gaming glasses counter the hue of blue light to a degree; some more than others depending on what glasses you get. For example, Visualites’ blue light filtering gaming glasses block out approximately 55% of the 400-440nm range of Blue Light. Blocking all blue light leads to a slew of problems like difficulty waking up, hindered reason and decision making, lowered alertness, and more. Access to blue light upwards of 475 nanometers is essential for eye health and exposure in the upper range helps with the production of melatonin.
According to an article posted by CompariTech, work, TV, gaming, and social media, the average American spends 7 hours and 11 minutes looking at a screen every day. This is well over more than enough time to be affected by the blue light emitted from our screens. Unless you spend less than 2 hours a day in front of a screen, blue light filtering glasses are essential to protect the health and longevity of your eyesight.
Gaming Glasses Variants
Blue light gaming glasses come in all shapes and sizes and price ranges. Some gaming glasses are built to simply block blue light and can be used by anyone – these simpler models range in price from $20-$100 USD. Gaming glasses in this price range may contain features such as magnification lenses to improve eyesight when close to a screen and reduce eye strain. This also enhances your vision so you can see the finer details that are so important in competitive gaming. Other gaming glasses, like the ones crafted by Visualites, are crafted with more features, such as durability, panoramic viewing, and designed to be lightweight and comfortable so you can game for hours on end without noticing the glasses. Some gaming glasses, like the ones sold by Gunnar, come with your prescription so you can wear them in place of your regular everyday glasses. Prescription gaming glasses range between $150-$300 USD.
What It’s Like to Wear Gaming Glasses
For the past three months I have been using Visualites blue light filtering gaming glasses on a regular basis. The specific type I am using are lightweight to the point where I forget I am wearing them, and even after 8+ hours with them on I have not experienced any discomfort whatsoever. They come with magnification as well (mine come with the lowest magnification, a simple 0.50 lense) which gives me a slight edge in gaming as I can track the finer details faster in fast paced, competitive gaming. Aside from these enhancements, blue light filtering gaming glasses have reduced my eyestrain more than I could have hoped for along with saving me from dry, irritated eyes and headaches. I find that marathon gaming is easier than ever without the negative side effects inflicted by blue light. Overall, as someone who works at a computer, constantly uses a smartphone, and games daily, blue light filtering glasses have become a priceless investment to me, and I highly recommend for anyone who leads a similar lifestyle. Get the most out of your gaming with gaming glasses.
Matt is a blogger, musician, and digital marketing specialist. He is based in Nashville, TN.