I’ve worn glasses for most of my life, but you would never guess that from my blog or social media pages. I tend to wear my glasses only at school and work, and my contact lenses every other waking moment. I’m amazed at how far protective eyewear has come since I first started wearing glasses, especially when it comes to keeping up with technology. I came across Phonetic Eyewear at the 2017 BlogHer Conference, a brand with chic glasses that come standard with blue light protection. I was graciously sent a pair for review, but all opinions are my own.
What’s all the hype about blue light protection?
Blue light is the term given to the light emitted by LED computer screens, smart phones, tablets, and compact fluorescent lightbulbs, which register on the violet blue part of the visible light spectrum (this is beginner level science classes coming back to haunt us all). The ‘blue light’ portion of the spectrum has among the lowest wavelength, which means it is high in frequency and energy. The high energy can cause eyestrain, headaches, and fatigue (source: Phonetic). In an age where technology is at its peak, we are exposed to blue light now more than ever.
I personally spend about 85% of my life directly absorbing blue light, whether it’s during 12 hour shifts in front of my tablet and computer at work, typing notes on my laptop in class, or using my laptop and phone to keep up with my blog and social media channels. I have definitely noticed a slight change in my vision (mainly dry, burning eyes) that my optometrist believes is secondary to digital eyestrain, as well as frequent headaches when I’m in front of the computer and on my phone for 12+ hours each day.
Since realizing this, I made an effort to give myself a few hours every evening without being in front of a screen, but I still had headaches. Enter Phonetic Eyewear. I tried on the Rachel glasses at their BlogHer booth over the summer, and I was enamored with them. Their main selling point is that the prices on their website include blue light protective lenses, whereas with other retailers, you could be paying anywhere from $14-$100 extra for blue light protection.
What will my glasses from Phonetic come with?
Let’s start from the beginning. You can get prescription, non-prescription, and/or eyewear, and in my experience, they cover most prescriptions. I’ve had issues in the past with online retailers that didn’t accept my prescription unless I was willing to pay an extra hundred dollars. There’s a good variety of frames to choose from based on your style and needs. Once your package arrives, you’ll get a neoprene case and microfiber cleaning cloth for safe storage of your glasses. There’s also a pamphlet with the lowdown on the technology used, care instructions, and the 90-day warranty.
Another thing I wanted to note is that I absolutely love the aesthetic aspect of my glasses! I can wear them dressed up, or dressed down, and still look cute. I’m also trying to perfect my modified glasses makeup, but truthfully, I feel so confident in these that I don’t feel the need to wear makeup every time I wear them.
Do lenses that block the transmission of blue light actually work?
In my experience, yes – to a certain extent. The blue light coated lenses don’t claim to prevent irreversible damage such as macular degeneration (source), but when it comes to the eyestrain directly related to working in front of the computer all day, I have definitely felt a difference. I think it’s important to keep in mind that those who will benefit the most from these types of glasses are individuals who spend the majority of their time in front of the computer. Although current research is just now scraping the surface on the long-term effects of blue light damage, it will be interesting to see what the findings are.
For now, I’ll be enjoying my lack of headaches after long days of work, school, and blogging, thanks to Phonetic Eyewear. The exact pair I have on can be found here. I am not a medical professional, so please consult your optometrist if you have any questions.