Blue lens tints look cool and protect against UVA and UVB rays. They also provide excellent visibility during moderate sunlight and in hazy, foggy or snowy conditions. An added benefit is that they also enhance the natural blue of the water and the sky in any condition.
Beyond fashion and visual enhancement, however, lies two very specific applications where blue lens tints are highly beneficial. They also reduce fatigue from yellow light and serve as a medical treatment for some difficult-to-treat illnesses.
Blue Lenses for Reducing Yellow Light
Blue lens tints are used in safety eyewear in some industrial applications to reduce the impact of yellow light and excessive glare. One major example of this is with sodium vapor lighting, which is seen in…
- The semiconductor industry
- Food processing plants
- Street lighting and lighting for highways and airfields
- Lighting for indoor plants because it doesn’t produce a lot of heat and is relatively inexpensive
- Maturing of wines since other light causes it to age prematurely
- Garage and warehouse lighting to ensure safety by eliminating shadows
A blue lens also helps in high heat furnace, metalwork, and glassblowing applications where yellow light is also present. The yellowish light and glare can fatigue eyes, and a blue lens can counteract that effect.
Blue Lenses for Medical Treatment
Perhaps you’ve seen Johnny Depp in his blue-tinted lenses and thought they were simply a fashion statement. Fans of Depp know, however, that he struggles with vision problems and blue lenses help. Others are discovering this benefit as well, and it’s nothing short of life-changing.
Depp is open about his struggles with his eyesight, though he’s not disclosed a specific diagnosis (New York Daily News). Others, like Jake Simons, know that Meares-Iren syndrome (visual stress) causes his vision problems.
“About 10% of people with dyslexia are thought to have visual stress. It can also be found in those with autism, ADHD, migraine, photo-sensitive epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, as well as stroke victims.” (Why Johnny Depp and I see the world through blue-tinted spectacles)
Visual stress is triggered by certain vision patterns, both printed and electronic texts. While symptoms vary by patient, Simons experiences dizziness, discomfort, nausea, and shooting eye pain when he’s not wearing his blue lenses.
Studies looking specifically at tinted contact lenses further show the benefit of blue tints for epilepsy patients with photosensitivity.
“Blue lenses have been shown to suppress the photoparoxysmal response more effectively than do lenses of other colors…” (Tinted Contact Lenses for Wavelength-Specific Treatment)
Blue lens eyewear obviously has the potential to help many people in significant ways.
Blue Lens Safety Eyewear
A good selection of blue lens safety eyewear is available to fit many of the applications discussed above. Even better, they’re also inexpensive with most coming in under $10. Options include:
- Pyramex VS Metal Safety Glasses with Infinity Blue Lens – Provides full side protection in a contemporary metal frame with temples that adjust to fit all facial sizes.
- DeWalt Contractor Pro Safety glasses with Blue Lens – A tough, lightweight wraparound style designed for protection and comfort.
- Uvex Hypershock Saftey Glasses with Matte Black Frame and SCT Blue Hydroshield Anti-Fog Lens – A lightweight, modern style that is dielectric and sporty, good for both indoor and outdoor applications.
Finding the right blue lenses for medical reasons likely will involve consultation with an optometrist and/or any condition-related specialist. Finding the right lens for safety applications is, fortunately, simpler. Regardless, for many people, a blue lens in their eyewear can be lifechanging and worth any effort.
Want to know more about lens tints?
Check out our article answering the question, “How Do You Choose the Best Lens Tint?”