Can blue light cause headaches? How does prevention (2023)

Can blue light cause headaches? How does prevention (1)Share on Pinterest

Blue lightit's all around you. These high-energy light waves emanate from the sun, travel through Earth's atmosphere, and interact with light sensors in your skin and eyes. People are increasingly exposed to blue light in both natural and artificial environments, as LED devices such as laptops, phones and tablets also emit blue light.

So far, there hasn't been much evidence that increased exposure to blue light poses a long-term risk to human health. However, the search continues.

Here's what you should know about the link between artificial blue light and health issues like eyestrain, headaches and migraines.

digital eye strain(DES) describes an accumulation of symptoms related to the use of digital devices over a long period of time. Symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • dry eyes
  • sore or tired eyes
  • blurry vision
  • neck pain
  • pain in the shoulder
  • light sensitivity

Computer screens, laptops, tablets and cell phones can all cause digital eyestrain. Each of these devices also emits blue light. That connection has led some researchers to wonder if it's blue light that's causing digital eyestrain.

Until now, there hasn't been a lot of research to suggest that it's the color of light that leads to the symptoms of DES.investigatorI think the culprit is the long hours of demanding close-up work, not the color of light coming off the screens.

Photophobia, an extreme sensitivity to light, affects about 80 percent of those affectedthe migraine attack. Light sensitivity can be so strong that people can only remedy it by withdrawing into dark rooms.

Researchers have found that blue, white, red, and amber lights make migraine pain worse. They also increase heart rate and muscle tension. on aStudy 2016in 69 people with active migraines, green light alone did not increase headaches. For some peoplegreen lightactually improved his symptoms.

In this study, blue light activated more neurons (the cells that receive and send sensory information to the brain) than other colors, leading the researchers to dub blue light the "most photophobic" type of light. The brighter the blue, red, amber and white light, the more intense the headache became.

It is important to note that although blue light can make a migraine worse, it is not the same ascausedthe migraine. newestTo look forshows that it may not be the light itself that triggers a migraine. Rather, the brain processes light this way. People prone to migraines may have nerve pathways and light receptors in their eyes that are particularly sensitive to light.

Researchers have suggested blocking all wavelengths of light except green light during a migraine, and some have reported their sensitivity to light.walked awaywhen wearing blue light blocking glasses.

(Video) What Is An Ocular Migraine? Eye Doctor Explains

Blue light has been linked to several health conditions, including:

(Video) Here's What Blue Light Actually Does To Your Body

sleep disorders

AStudy 2018pointed out that sleep disorders and headaches go hand in hand. Difficulties sleeping can lead to tension headaches and migraines, and headaches can lead to sleep disturbances.

leptin decreased

Leptin is a hormone that tells your body that you have enough energy after a meal. When leptin levels drop, your metabolism can change in ways that make you more likely to gain weight. AStudy 2019found lower levels of leptin after people used a blue light-emitting iPad at night.

skin damage

exposure toUVA and UVBRadiation (which cannot be seen) damages the skin and increases the risk of skin cancer. There is evidence that exposure to blue light can also damage the skin.A 2015 studyshowed that exposure to blue light decreasedantioxidantsand increased the number offree radicalsthe volcanoes.

Free radicalscan damage DNAand lead to the formation of cancer cells. Antioxidants can prevent free radicals from harming you. It is important to note that the dose of blue light used by researchers in southern Europe was equivalent to an hour of midday sunbathing. More research needs to be done to understand how much blue light from LED devices is safe for your skin.

If you've used a device that emits blue light, you may notice these symptoms:

  • to peel
  • burning, stinging, sore, or itchy eyes
  • blurry vision
  • Tensions in the muscles of the face, neck and shoulders
  • increased sensitivity to light
  • Headache

How to prevent and avoid headaches caused by blue light

(Video) Blue Light Glasses -- A Waste of Money? Explained by an MD

A few simple habits can help you avoid headaches when using blue light-emitting devices. Here are some tips:

Adjust your workspace to maintain better posture

If you spend long hours in front of a computer without paying attention to your posture, you are more likely to develop a headache. ONational Institute of HealthI recommend you:

  • Adjust your chair backrest or use a lumbar support pillow to ensure your lower back is at a 90-degree angle to your hips.
  • Raise or lower the armrests to let your shoulders relax as you type.
  • Position the keyboard an inch or two above your thighs.
  • Keep your monitor 20 to 26 inches from your body.
  • Place the screen at eye level to avoid leaning your neck too far.
  • Use a screen to reduce the brightness of your devices.

Use a document holder

If you are referencing a document as you type, support the paper on an easel support. When the paper is closer to eye level, it reduces the amount of up and down movement for your head and neck and prevents your eyes from drastically shifting focus every time you look at the page.

Take breaks to stretch and exercise

muscle tensioncauses most headaches. To ease some of that tension, there are things you can do."Desk"Stretches to loosen muscles in the head, neck, arms and upper back. You can set a timer on your phone to remind you to stop, take a break, and stretch before getting back to work.

Try the 20/20/20 method

If you use an LED device for hours, you can use it to reduce the risk of DESsimple strategy. Stop every 20 minutes, focus on an object about 20 feet away, and study it for about 20 seconds. The change in distance gives your eyes a close-up break and intense focus.

Change your device's light settings

Many devices allow you to switch from blue light to warmer tones at night. there are a fewTrialthat switching to warmer tones or the "Night Shift" mode on a tablet can help maintain the body's ability to secrete melatonin, a hormone that prepares the body for sleep.

keep your eyes moist

When you're looking at a screen or concentrating on a difficult task, you're probably blinking less than usual. Using eye drops, artificial tears, and office humidifiers can help maintain moisture levels in your eyes when you blink less.

Dry eyes contribute to eye strain — and are also linked to migraines. A bigStudy 2019found that people with migraines were about 1.4 times more likely to develop dry eye.

Do blue light glasses prevent or cause headaches?

(Video) The ONLY Ocular Migraines Solution That Works Consistently (3 Simple Steps)

To search for"blue light glasses"on the web and you'll see dozens of specifications that claim to prevent digital eyestrain and other dangers. Whilestudiesdemonstrated that blue light glasses effectively block blue light waves, there is not much evidence that these glasses prevent digital eyestrain or headaches.

Some people have reported headaches caused by blue light blocking glasses, but there are no reliable studies to support or explain these reports.

It's not uncommon to experience a headache when you first wear new glasses or when your vision has changed. If you get a headache from wearing glasses, wait a few days to see if your eyes adjust and the headache goes away. If not, talk to an optometrist or ophthalmologist about your symptoms.

Prolonged work and play on blue light-emitting devices like phones, laptops and tablets can cause headaches – but it might not be the light itself that's causing problems. It could be posture, muscle tension, sensitivity to light or eyestrain.

Blue light seems to make the pain, throbbing, and tightness of migraines worse. Using green light, on the other hand, can alleviate migraine pain.

To avoid headaches when using a blue light-emitting device, keep your eyes moist, take frequent breaks to stretch your body, use the 20/20/20 method to rest your eyes, and make sure your work area or leisure is set to promote a healthy posture.

Researchers still don't know exactly how blue light affects youEyesand your overall health, so it's a good idea to get regular eye exams and talk to a doctor if a headache is affecting your quality of life.


How do you prevent blue light migraines? ›

Strategies for Blocking Blue Light

People who suffer from migraines may find some relief by filtering blue light through yellow, orange, or red lenses. Newer smartphones and tablets often have built-in screen settings that allow the user to adjust the amount of blue light emitted.

How do you prevent light headaches? ›

Filtering blue light through yellow, orange or red lenses offers some people relief. Consider investing in light bulbs that emit green light, the only band of light that has been shown to not aggravate migraine.

Does blocking blue light stop headaches? ›

For many years, blue light blocking glasses have also been thought to help with the eye strain, dryness, blurred vision, and headaches. However, newly published research suggests that they actually aren't effective at reducing headaches and other symptoms related to digital eye strain.

Can blue light cause daily headaches? ›

Working and playing for long periods on blue light-emitting devices like phones, laptops, and tablets can lead to headaches—but it may not be the light itself that causes problems. It may be posture, muscle tension, light sensitivity, or eye strain.

Do blue light glasses really work? ›

Manufacturers claim that blue light glasses can filter out blue light and help reduce symptoms such as headaches, eyestrain, and poor sleep. However, research does not support these claims. People have started to worry about the health effects of blue light emitting from screens.

Do eye glasses block blue light? ›

Glasses with a blue tint make everything look blue, so the blue light won't be noticeable. Computer glasses with clear lenses block about 20% of blue light (depending on manufacturer), which can be enough to limit the harmful effects of blue light. Better blue light blockers have yellow, orange, or amber lenses.

Can wearing glasses stop headaches? ›

You need to wear glasses that will reduce the need for straining your eyes, which in turn will reduce the occurrence of headaches. More often than not, headaches relating to vision are a by-product of a refractive error, such as hypermetropia, myopia or astigmatism.

What color helps stop headaches? ›

Harvard Medical School researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have found that exposing migraine sufferers to a narrow band of green light significantly reduces photophobia and can reduce headache severity.

How do you treat a blue light headache? ›

Relief for Blue Light Headaches

Use over-the-counter pain and headache relief medications. Try screen-related accessibility features, such as dark mode or color shift. Take regular breaks to rest your eyes and brain while on your screen or exposed to other sources of blue light. Get proper rest and hydration.

Where do blue light headaches hurt? ›

Blue Light Can Cause Headaches and Migraines

Others have pinpointed the exact wavelength to be in and around 480nm; it is exposure to this blue light that leads to high discomfort, a greater perception of pain and throbbing and even enhanced spreading of headache pain across the brain.

Why am I so sensitive to blue light? ›

As we mentioned, we are all blue-light sensitive to some extent. This is the result of specific cells in our eyes called intrinsically-photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (iPRGCs for short) that are activated by blue light with a peak wavelength of ~480nm.

What are the symptoms of too much blue light? ›

Digital eyestrain: Blue light from computer screens and digital devices can decrease contrast leading to digital eyestrain. Fatigue, dry eyes, bad lighting, or how you sit in front of the computer can cause eyestrain. Symptoms of eyestrain include sore or irritated eyes and difficulty focusing.

How do you get rid of light sensitivity migraines? ›

This is a short list of some of our favorite photophobia home remedies.
  1. Gradually increase light exposure. ...
  2. Get rid of fluorescent light bulbs, and be wary of LEDs too. ...
  3. Fully open your window blinds (or close them altogether) ...
  4. Double check your medications. ...
  5. Wear sunglasses with polarization when outside.
Aug 18, 2017

What glasses help with light sensitivity? ›

The most effective way to reduce light sensitivity is with the use of special photophobia glasses that filter the harmful wavelengths present in many common sources of indoor and outdoor light.

What are the negative effects of blue light glasses? ›

Is it bad to wear blue light glasses? Though blue light glasses aren't effective at preventing digital eye strain, there is no harm in wearing them. “It is not harmful to wear them all day,” says Dr. Bajic.

What are the disadvantages of blue light glasses? ›

Cons of Blue Light Glasses

The blue cut lenses alter the colour of everything you see in the yellow hue. Another blue cut lenses disadvantage is that they are unable to protect skin that also contains melanopsin, a photoreceptor that tells your body whether it is day or night.

Is it OK to wear blue light glasses everyday? ›

Like sunglasses, blue light glasses can have long-term eye health benefits. But should you wear them all the time? You can wear your blue light glasses all the time, just like you can wear sunglasses all the time.

Are more expensive blue light glasses better? ›

More expensive glasses may offer additional features, such as more unique style options or a greater percentage of blue light blocked. When shopping for blue light blocking glasses, you'll have to weigh the benefits against the cost and keep your personal budget in mind.

How do you know if your headache is caused by eyesight? ›

Unlike other types of headaches, eye strain headaches are rarely associated with vomiting or nausea. Pain behind your eyes. The pain is usually located behind or around your eyes. The area might feel sore or tired.

What type of glasses prevent headaches? ›

Utah neuro-ophthalmologist Dr. Bradley Katz, founder of Axon Optics, developed “migraine glasses” called FL-41 glasses. These can reduce headache frequency, duration, and severity if migraine sufferers wear them regularly outside and when they're sitting in front of screens.

What do headaches from needing glasses feel like? ›

fuzziness, as in objects don't have defined, clear lines and things seem a bit hazy. headaches. squinting. objects have “auras” or “halos” around them in bright light.

What color relaxes the brain? ›

Green – Quiet and restful, green is a soothing color that can invite harmony and diffuse anxiety. Blue – A highly peaceful color, blue can be especially helpful for stress management because it can encourage a powerful sense of calm.

What helps the worst headache ever? ›

  1. Rest in a quiet, dark room.
  2. Hot or cold compresses to your head or neck.
  3. Massage and small amounts of caffeine.
  4. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) and aspirin.

What color is most calming to the brain? ›

New research claims that dark blue is the world's most relaxing colour. Research carried out by the University of Sussex and paper company G.F Smith, draws on a survey of 26,596 people, from more than 100 countries.

Do migraine glasses block blue light? ›

These studies show that FL-41 glasses can reduce migraine attacks by 74 percent and also lower photophobia and light sensitivity caused by a variety of conditions. They currently represent the most clinically-validated option for blocking the blue light that can trigger ocular and neurological symptoms.

When should you wear blue light blocking glasses? ›

Blue light blocking lenses should be worn anytime you are using a screen or device that emits blue light. Keep your eyes healthy and reduce digital eye strain with a great pair of blue light blocking lenses.

Is TV considered blue light? ›

Does TV emit blue light? In short, yes. LED screens that are popular these days emit a great deal of blue light, which can be potentially harmful to the eyes. Therefore, watching too much TV, especially late at night, can suppress melatonin production that makes us ready for sleep.

Can blue light trigger anxiety? ›

Q: Does blue light cause anxiety? A: High levels of blue light can increase our cortisol and adrenaline hormones. The increase in these levels can leave us feeling anxious.

Is blue light inflammatory? ›

Conclusions: This study showed that narrow-band blue light has anti-inflammatory effects on keratinocytes by decreasing the cytokine-induced production of IL-1alpha and ICAM-1. In addition, blue light demonstrated synergistic effects with low-dose UVB light.

Can blue light cause brain fog? ›

Blue light can cause eye strain, which results in less focus and brain fog. Excessive exposure to blue light can cause headaches.

How long does it take to recover from blue light? ›

This usually takes 3-5 days of recovery before returning to work. Exercise routines or other strenuous activities should be avoided during this 5 day period. You should expect redness and possibly even mild blistering of the targeted areas.

How do you get rid of light sensitivity from migraines? ›

This is a short list of some of our favorite photophobia home remedies.
  1. Gradually increase light exposure. ...
  2. Get rid of fluorescent light bulbs, and be wary of LEDs too. ...
  3. Fully open your window blinds (or close them altogether) ...
  4. Double check your medications. ...
  5. Wear sunglasses with polarization when outside.
Aug 18, 2017

How can we prevent negative effects of blue light? ›

Protect yourself from blue light at night

Avoid looking at bright screens beginning two to three hours before bed. If you work a night shift or use a lot of electronic devices at night, consider wearing blue-blocking glasses or installing an app that filters the blue/green wavelength at night.

Is there a way to prevent ocular migraines? ›

Prevention. Same as prevention for migraines. Avoid migraine triggers. Common triggers include stress, hormonal changes, bright/flashing lights, drinking alcohol (red wine), changes in the weather, skipping meals/not eating enough, or too much or too little sleep.

What can block blue light? ›

Blue-light-blocking glasses, also known as screen glasses or computer glasses, filter high-energy visible (HEV) light, the high-frequency segment of the visible light spectrum with wavelengths between 400 nm (nanometers) to 450 nm, preventing it from reaching your eyes.

Can prescription glasses help with light sensitivity? ›

If you are naturally more sensitive to bright light, you might want to consider glasses for photophobia. Glasses for photophobia can help to shield your eyes from bright light conditions, helping you achieve more comfortable vision.

What vitamins help with light sensitivity? ›

Certain nutrients such as lutein, zeaxanthin, bilberry, vinpocetine, l-lysine, a number of vitamins and enzymes, and fish oil may help with light sensitivity and help preserve vision. Supplement with nutrients that have been found to be helpful for light sensitivity.

What is the best treatment for light sensitivity? ›

The single-most effective tool for combating photophobia is precision-tinted glasses, specifically those tinted with FL-41. Research has shown these lenses to relieve even the most chronic of light-sensitive individuals, whether they have migraine, blepharospasm, post-concussion syndrome or another disorder.

What are 5 ways to protect your eyes? ›

5 Ways to Protect Your Eye Health
  • Get Regular Eye Exams. Scheduling regular eye exams is one of the best ways to protect your eye health. ...
  • Wear Sunglasses. ...
  • Wear Protective Eyewear. ...
  • Eat Healthy and Maintain a Healthy Weight. ...
  • Quit Smoking.
May 3, 2022

How long does it take for blue light to damage eyes? ›

The amount of damage depends on wavelength and exposure time. Animal studies show even short exposure (a few minutes to several hours) may be harmful. A filter that cuts 94% of blue light has been shown to lessen damage. There's evidence blue light could lead to permanent vision changes.

What vitamins help ocular migraines? ›

Supplements such as riboflavin (B2), coenzyme Q10, magnesium3, niacin, carnitine, and lipoic acid, which support mitochondrial function, have been shown to help alleviate migraine headaches.

What is the fastest way to cure an ocular migraine? ›

Ocular Migraine Treatment

The visual portion of an ocular migraine usually lasts less than 60 minutes, so most people don't need treatment. It's best to stop what you're doing and rest your eyes until your vision goes back to normal. If you have a headache, take a pain reliever that your doctor recommends.

Is ocular migraine a mini stroke? ›

Ocular migraine, or migraine with aura, and stroke are two different conditions. Having an attack doesn't mean you're having a stroke or are about to have one. However, research has shown that people with migraine with aura are at an increased risk of stroke.


1. Blue Blocker Glasses to Prevent Eyestrain, Headaches, and Migraines
(American Posture Institute)
2. Do BLUE LIGHT GLASSES work? - Fact or Fiction
(Doctor Eye Health)
3. Is Your Computer Destroying Your Vision? – Dr.Berg on Computer Vision Syndrome
(Dr. Eric Berg DC)
4. How I Fixed Eye Strain Headache Issues from Looking at Screens
(Jordan Liles)
5. 5 Tips and Eye Exercises for EYE STRAIN Relief
(Doctor Eye Health)
6. Here’s What Light ACTUALLY Does To Your Brain
(Your Inception)
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