Whether you’re reading this story on your laptop or phone, the point is the same: You’ve got a blue light-emitting screen and eyes that are probably too close to said screen. And if you’re like me and work on a computer, it’s not uncommon to feel not just regular-tired at the end of a work day; I feel it in my eyeballs, too.
I've been wearing prescription glasses ever since I realized I couldn't see the chalkboard in seventh grade, and over a decade later, I’m still a proud glasses-wearer. And thanks to cool online startups, I now enjoy expressing my personal style with a rotating wardrobe of frames. Recently, I got the chance to try two blue light-filtering styles from EyeBuyDirect, the online shop that’s been offering a wide range of styles since 2005 (!).
If you’ve ever gotten sticker shock from how expensive prescription glasses can be at your optometrist’s office (same), then EyeBuyDirect is for you. The site has pages upon pages of affordable styles from its in-house line as well as designer options. And they really are affordable — once you add prescription lenses, many options still clock in at under $50, and you can even browse under-$20 options. I’ve always gravitated towards simple, minimal frames, but I’ve been wanting to step a little out of my comfort zone for this review. I ended up settling on two styles, the Amity and the Discover, and I added blue-light filtering lenses at checkout. (I got the Amity with my current prescription, and the Discover with non-prescription lenses so I could wear them with contacts as a fashion accessory.)
Amity was the first pair I tried on, and spoiler alert: They've become my new daily glasses. I've never loved how I look with clear frames, but since these have metallic gold arms, it adds a little something-something. They're slightly oversized, which I love, and my mom (pictured here) and sister both said I looked super cute in them. Since I usually wear my prescription glasses at home (I have chronically dry eyes, so contacts are not an everyday deal for me), I loved that I could wear these while I worked to ease the eye strain of working all day on a laptop.
Next up, I finally boarded on the aviator trend. These are another classic style I thought I couldn't pull off (or worse, give off dad vibes, and not in a good way). I was honestly speechless when I popped these on – they were...adorable?! My face is on the narrow side, so I was worried they would look too wide, but they were honestly perfect. The matte silver finish was streamlined and chic (it also comes in bronze and gunmetal), and I felt like the coolest version of myself with them on.
EyeBuyDirect offers four types of blue light-filtering lenses at a variety of price points: The most inexpensive option offers a basic level of blue light filtering at $19, the next up is $49 (which combines "advanced" blue light filtering with anti-glare coating), followed by a $59 tier that doubles as a transitional lens, and lastly, an $81 lens with a "magnified bottom portion for comfortable reading on mobile devices." I settled on the $49 mid-tier option for both pairs since anti-glare is kind of a must when you wear glasses as often as I do. I didn't really need the premium features (i.e. transitional lenses and magnification), so the mid-tier one made the most sense for my lifestyle. Plus, I wanted to give blue light glasses a fair shot — and figured a higher level of protection wouldn't hurt in that sense. (I alsot didn't cost me extra to get prescription blue light lenses, which yay!)
You’ve probably heard a lot about blue light-filtering glasses (and even skin-care products), and while some of it is legit — a lot of it should be taken with a grain of salt. According to my ophthalmologist boyfriend, he says while UV rays can affect your eye health ("everything from retinal issues, pterygiums, cancer..."), which is why you should ensure that your sunnies have UV protection. As far as blue light goes, we still have a long way to go until the effects are studied extensively enough to determine a causal impact on eye health. And while you don't need to fear that your TikTok scrolling will eventually sear your eyeballs, there is sound science behind it affecting your circadian rhythm. "Blue light is a shorter wavelength of light, which means it’s higher energy," he elaborates. "Blue light does show an increased response in cells that are sensitive to light, which sends signals to the brain, which is responsible for circadian rhythm." (A good example of this is the Night Shift mode on the iPhone.) In terms of eye strain, you can blame binging Netflix for that; according to an NIH study, human adults blink roughly 12 times per minute; this number can be under five times a minute if you're watching TV or completing a high-focus task.
"Feelings of eye strain come from taking in higher wavelengths of light over an extended period of time," he adds. For example, even though he has 20/20 vision, he wears glasses if he’s watching TV late at night to ensure that he can still fall asleep after. So, my verdict on EyeBuyDirect's blue light glasses? As an existing glasses-wearer, it's a no-brainer for me to add the protection. Best of all, since the frames are already affordable, adding the blue-light filtering won't break the bank. See?
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