Blue light glasses and online classes


Blue light glasses have grown in popularity given peoples’ shift to remote living; however, because these glasses do not have a prescription, there is a controversy as to whether or not they are truly used for protection or if these glasses are the latest fashion trend. COVID-19 has forced many people from around the world to work from home and continue classes online. This change has only been possible, however, with one key component, technology. Given the increase in the use of technology, many people are also being affected by the blue light, experiencing headaches and tired eyes, from the light emitted from their computers and phones. The solution: blue light glasses.

College students are some of the people who spend the most amount of time on their devices. Three freshmen from Santa Clara University discuss how they came to buying blue light glasses and what effect COVID-19 has had on that decision.

Jessica Simms and Charlotte Holder got their blue light glasses when the shelter in place started. They were both concerned with the consequences of viewing a computer screen for too long and even started experiencing some of these consequences, like migraines, when their online classes began.

“I decided to get them because I know too much light exposure from computers and phones is bad for your eyes. I’m also prone to get migraines/headaches so I was hoping the glasses would help prevent that” Simms said. “I think the increase in purchases of blue light glasses makes sense because online classes are new and the time I spend on my computer is certainly above my usual average.

These students are also noticing a correlation between the change to online classes and the increase in blue light glasses purchases. The longer people are required to attend classes online, the more students are buying these glasses.

“I definitely think a lot of people are starting to buy them now because of online classes. I know all my friends started to buy them within the same week I ordered mine,” Holder said.

Though many students have been benefiting from their protection, some students have also acquired these glasses for fashion. Juliet Kulusic, for example, didn’t actually know if the glasses would help and was motivated by the growing fashion trend instead.

“I got them because I had a strange superficial coveting for them. I guess I felt I needed them for no real reason,” Kulusic said. “I think it is 90% fashion based with a small percent who may actually “need” them. Does anyone actually need them? Who knows!

Simms and Holder agree that there is a fashion aspect to any accessory that is purchased, however, they believe that the purpose of protection outweighs the desire to follow fashion trends.

“Many people are buying the cheaper versions on Amazon that definitely do not protect your eyes as much as the more expensive brands. If the purchase were solely for the protection I think people would invest in the real-deals,” Simms said. “I think [the glasses] are trendy but for both reasons, fashion and protection.”

Holder more intensely believes that the glasses aren’t following any kind of fashion trend and are rather just a way for students to be protected from the hours they spend on their devices.

“I personally bought them because I wanted my migraines to go away, but I definitely also wanted to make sure they were going to be cute on me,” Holder said. “I don’t think people just buy them for the fashion aspect because you really can’t wear them unless you’re looking at a computer screen.”

No matter if people have discovered these newly popular glasses to be protective or not, Kulusic believes that there is a deeper meaning behind the people who own the glasses. She also noticed that because there was a shift in types of companies that were distributing these glasses, there was definitely a correlated interference between actual protection and the fashion component.

“I think the statement [of these glasses] is tied to wealth. I think they are a trend and a statement of status, as many things sadly are,” Kulusic said.