I’m so exited to share this with you because this has solved (or is in the process of solving) a big and increasing problem I’ve had with my eyes.
I work at my computer all day long – and a few years I also used to play games from the time I got home from work and until late at night.
It’s not something that I have paid attention to before, but lately I’ve begun experiencing eye fatigue and getting really dry eyes – especially late in the day.
And then the other day I read a blog post by Daniel Vitalis about the circadian rhythm and how to protect it by shielding your eyes from blue light after sunset.
I don’t think of myself as someone with a sleep disorder – I usually sleep within a minute after my head hit the pillow.
But my eyes fells more and more strained, so I’m going to do something about it before it turns into a sleep problem.
One of the problems with our lives today – especially for those of us who spend a lot of time in front of our computer screens – is that we don’t get the “go to sleep now” signal from our body in a timely manner.
So it’s all too easy to stay up late getting red eyes because, “hey, I’m not sleepy” – all while we build up a huge sleep debt.
Daniel talks about two different ways to get rid of the blue light.
One is the free program and the other is tinted glasses.
f.lux adjusts the colours on your computer based on where you live and what time it is.
It’s a quick install and right now at 11PM it gives my screen a nice warm glow.
I also do a lot of image post processing, so it’s a really nice feature that I can “snooze” f.lux for an hour with a single key-combo.
Gaming eyewear (Tinted glasses)
The other thing he talked about was wearing glasses that filter out the blue light.
Being exposed to artificial light after sunset can wreak havoc on our circadian rhythms by delaying production/release of melatonin. When melatonin is released we become sleepy, but when we expose ourselves to bright light – especially from tv’s and computer monitors – we push on for longer than our bodies was meant to and disrupt our natural sleep cycle.
Melanopsin (a photopigment found in special receptors in our retinas ) is involved in this, but I haven’t been able to wrap my head around it well enough to describe it properly.
As far as I’ve been able to understand it the mechanics of melanopsin operates in such a way that blue light will switch it into “day mode” so to speak – this happens after sunrise. Then in the evening when the sun sets and we’re exposed to red/orange colours from the setting sun and fireplaces it will switch back into its blue-sensitive state.
This is why it’s important to get glasses that filter out the blue light – also called HEV Light (High-Energy Visible Light – 400 to 500 nanometer range) to prevent us from getting stuck in day mode.
Oakley and GUNNAR glasses
For me the best choice is the GUNNAR ones – simply because the Oakley ones seems to be more tailored to sports and other outdoor activities.
The GUNNARs on the other hand offers a range of glasses made specifically for people working/playing in front of computer screens.
The GUNNAR model Intercept is the #1 Best seller on Amazon in the “Video Display Glasses” category, so that was the first model I looked at.
I usually wear a headset when I’m working on my computer, so it’s essential for me to get pair of glasses that will fit snugly. – but the Intercept just doesn’t seem to fit the bill.
But they have two other models that I’m very interested in trying.
The MLG Phantom is a medium fit oval frame, while the PPK is a wide fit rectangular frame – a 4mm difference over the nose.
I’m not sure if 16mm or 20mm fits me better, so I’m off to have my nose measured ;-)
What’s your experience?
Have you tried either f.lux or amber tinted glasses?
What have been your experience with it?