I spend more time on the computer than I care to admit. I’m mostly working — writing new episodes of Reno 911!, attending Zoom production meetings, researching the best ways to get a stunt dog to pee on someone’s leg on cue. But there are also many late nights spent staring at a screen as I try to decide whether I’m too old for leopard-print sneakers or Googling which products Anna Wintour uses on her power bob (sea-salt spray on the crown for added volume; you’re welcome). My son is on the computer a lot more these days, too, now that his school is entirely online. It worries me.
My mother had ocular melanoma, a horrible, deadly form of eye cancer, and doctors still don’t know the cause. Could excessive screen time play a part? Probably not — my mother didn’t grow up staring at screens all day — but still, I worry. I’m a worrier. I’m also an obsessive researcher. So, when I wanted to research ways to mitigate too much time on the computer, I Googled them. On my computer. For two hours. Countless articles suggested that the best way to combat screen time is to cut down on screen time (duh), while others spoke of blue-light glasses as a solution. This very website is no stranger to the topic, with several stories that feature various styles of blue-light blocking glasses and explain how they work, according to eye doctors. The gist: Their lenses filter out blue light from screens and sunlight, with purported benefits being not only eyes that feel less tired, but also people — because too much blue light, especially later in a day, can affect your sleep schedule, something my son and I were both experiencing.
For him, I overnighted a no-name pair from Amazon. They looked like something out of a cheap sci-fi movie. (He loved the look. Me, not so much.) And they did help. It wasn’t an earth-shattering improvement, and the glasses took some getting used to, but eventually he said his eyes felt better at the end of a school day and he seemed to be falling asleep faster and waking up a little less groggy. I borrowed his pair for a weekend to see if I would notice any difference and was genuinely surprised when, after two days of wearing them, my eyes didn’t feel as tired. I decided to bite the bullet on a pair of my own.
The first place I checked was Warby Parker. (I knew I didn’t want cheap sci-fi, but I wasn’t opposed to keeping things cheap-ish.) I’ve been buying prescription driving glasses and non-prescription sunglasses from the brand for years. It offers blue-light lenses (with or without a prescription) in all of its stylish frames, so I had five pairs mailed to me via its free home try-on program. Without a prescription, Warby Parker charges an extra $50 for blue-light lenses in any of its frames (most of which start at $95). I wound up buying three — perhaps more than any one person needs, but the fact that the brand donates a pair of glasses for every pair purchased helped me justify stocking up.
These are my favorite of my three blue-light glasses. I love the combination of the classic shape and modern, clear frame, but they come in four other colors, too.
It has been about a month since I started wearing the glasses every time I’ve been in front of a screen (including late nights on my phone before bed). Whenever they’re on, I don’t squint as much — something I didn’t even know I did until I started wearing blue-light lenses. After a week or so of wearing them, I started to notice small changes in my sleep patterns, too. I’ve been conking out faster, sleeping more soundly, and waking more refreshed. Like with my son, this has all happened gradually, but the improvements are perceptible. My glasses, however, do have one immediate benefit that less thoughtfully made blue-light glasses (like my son’s) lack. In them, I’ve never looked cuter.
I love the androgynous vibe of the Wright. The rosemary crystal color (one of three these come in) softens the look, and the larger shape frames my face nicely.
These Lydell frames come in two colors; I got nectar, which is adorable. A subtle cat’s-eye in a soft, unexpected hue. I wear mine when I need a little jolt of happiness.
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