Can I Wear Blue Light Blocking Glasses for Driving at Night?
Complaining of not seeing clearly when driving at night is quite common. Poor night vision can affect people of all ages, but it tends to be particularly bothersome after the age of 40.
You may have seen or heard of specific glasses with tinted lenses that are said to help you see better in front of screens. Some people wear these glasses all the time, but can blue light blocking glasses be worn also for night driving?
Let’s read on to find out.
There is a subtle enemy of quiet nights: blue light. Or rather, not blue light in general, but the light emitted by the electronic devices around us, especially those we keep considerably close to our eyes, such as the PC monitor or smartphone display from which you are reading this text.
Blue Light is a form of electromagnetic radiation in the visible spectrum that is between 380 and 500 nm. It is particularly harmful between 380 and 460 nm.
However, the roots of the problem are to be found in evolution. Back in the days when the rhythm of our ancestors' days was marked exclusively by the sun and electric light was far from being a common taken-for-granted thing. Our bodies became accustomed to reacting to the hues of light that precede sunrise, taking them as a signal to activate the processes that then lead us to wake up in the morning.
These include inhibiting the production of melatonin, one of the most important substances linked to the sleep cycle.
Electric light has long brought major disruptions to the circadian rhythm of modern man, disconnecting the days from the rhythm of sunrise and sunset, with a whole range of negative effects, but nowadays the issue has become even more apparent due to changing technologies.
All LED-type LCD displays, in fact, rely on a backlight that uses-as the name suggests-LED lamps. The emission spectrum of this type of devices, unlike - for example - the 'old' incandescent bulbs, has a predominant component of blue and frequencies close to ultraviolet.
It is capable of activating the reactivation processes that precede waking, and can interfere with our sleep if we look at an LED display for a long time in the period before falling asleep.
More generally, looking at an LED display for a long time in the hours when it is dark outside leads to possible mismatches in the natural circadian rhythm, sending our sleep into disarray, resulting in more disturbed sleep or even insomnia.
Blue Light Blocking Glasses
With the arrival of the digital age, new problems have arisen related to the well-being of those who for work, for gaming, or something for both, find themselves in front of a screen several hours a day.
Not only that: the distribution of content even on smaller screens such as tablets or phones can create problems even during free time. In particular, many complain of symptoms attributable to computer vision syndrome, a disorder that involves eye strain, dry eyes and, in severe cases, even a feeling of general fatigue or AMD.
These symptoms can occur when sitting in front of a computer, television or cell phone for an extended period of time and are caused by eye strain, which is similar to reading a book.
To counteract the effects of the syndrome, certain techniques can be adopted to "relax" the eyes, by moving them away from the screen every twenty minutes and staring at an object 20 meters away for twenty seconds.
Glasses with blue light blocking lenses are also recommended to reduce or counteract the syndrome of artificial vision, especially for those who have to be in front of a screen even at night.
The lenses of these blue light blocking glasses have a filter that helps to reduce the action of blue light on the eyes, so you can focus the screen more easily. It removes blurriness, and makes your screen more understandable as well as the graphics or color images.
Some glasses of this type also have a yellow tint, which can change the colors you see but further facilitate the action of filtering light from LEDs of electronic devices.
In general, blue light blocking glasses are recommended for those who already have vision problems, but you have to be very careful: even with perfect vision, it is very easy to develop a syndrome of artificial vision.
However, once you have worn these tools, it is a good idea not to forget the little tricks that allow you to rest your eyes briefly, such as looking away from the screen or simply avoiding screen time before sleeping.
Driving at Night with your Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Night driving glasses must first be adapted to the specific needs of your eye. For those who want to use their blue light blocking glasses and who know how to move and drive often in the dark, it is not a problem at all.
This type of corrective lens helps to increase contrast and therefore promotes vision, even at night. Or you can opt for polarized lenses such as yellow lenses, which do not require a prescription.
Some experts recommend these glasses in order to increase contrast and better distinguish characters.
However, experts from the Schepens Eye Research Institute in Massachusetts questioned their effectiveness in 2019, believing that they are equivalent to a pair of sunglasses, which in the dark compromise visual perception abilities due to the color of the lens.
Nevertheless, there are also some experts who, on the contrary, think that they promote vision in low light conditions.
A few tips:
After clarifying the type of corrective lenses most suitable for night driving, here are some valuable suggestions for those who often find themselves facing an evening or night drive:
- Always choose anti-reflective and possibly anti-scratch lenses.
- Clean your glasses well to ensure that your vision is as clear as possible
- Use eye drops in case of dry eyes.
Take vitamins or eat fruits and vegetables, which are also useful for improving vision.