Relative to nonblue light glasses, blue light glasses provide little to no benefit in terms of visual fatigue with computer use. Further, the effects of blue light glasses on sleep-related measures remain inconclusive. These are the findings of a systematic review published in Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
Commercially available blue light glasses prevent ultraviolet radiation and specific short-wavelength visible light from directly reaching the eye. For the study, researchers aimed to assess whether visual performance and sleep quality in adults is improved with blue light glasses compared with nonblue light glasses.
The researchers utilized multiple electronic databases for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in adults that assessed blue light glasses relative to nonblue light glasses. Primary outcomes consisted of the change in visual fatigue and critical flicker-fusion frequency (CFF) between baseline and follow-up. Key secondary endpoints included best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), patient satisfaction with visual performance, proportion of participants with reduced daytime alertness, serum melatonin levels, and subjective sleep quality.
A total of 17 RCTs in 6 countries involving 619 participants were included in the review, with 65% of studies assessed as having a high risk for bias due to unblinded outcome assessors. No meta-analyses were performed for any of the outcome measures due to the lack of quantitative data and general heterogeneity across studies.
Subjective visual fatigue scores were relatively the same with blue light glasses vs nonblue light glasses. Similarly, little to no difference in CFF was observed with blue light glasses compared with not wearing these glasses. Significant differences were also not observed in BCVA between blue light vs nonblue light filtering lenses. Results for sleep measures were uncertain, with included trials reporting mixed results from heterogenous study populations.
“Overall, the results of this review indicate that future high-quality research is required to more clearly define the potential effects of blue-light filtering lenses on visual performance, sleep and macular health, including whether efficacy and safety outcomes are distinctly different study populations,” the researchers concluded.
Disclosures: Several study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see original source for full list of disclosures.
Singh S, Keller PR, Busija L, et al. Blue-light filtering spectacle lenses for visual performance, sleep, and macular health in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Published Aug 18, 2023. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD013244.pub2