"Should I be using anti-radiation glasses?”
While the world's attention is on the current pandemic, other health issues may seem trivial. But every now and then some fake news or misinformation captures the popular imagination, becomes sensationalized, which then spreads virally; and naturally, savvy entrepreneurs are quick to take advantage of this for profit.
One such “recent finding” is the alleged danger of blue light “radiation” which emanate from the digital screens we all stare at the whole day - from cell phones, to computer monitors, TV, LED and fluorescent lights. If some of these stories are to be believed, everyone living in the modern world is in potential danger.
These claims arose from some recent studies which suggests that exposure to blue light late at night could alter the body’s biological clocks, the so called circadian rhythm, which can lead to sleep-related problems. Since getting adequate sleep is vital, lack of sleep could conceivably lead to all kinds of diseases. It was not long before someone started selling “anti radiation and blue-light protector glasses”. Literally hundreds of different glasses are sold on amazon, shopee and lazada. Optical shops can’t keep up with the demand.
Sadly, the alleged benefits of using these glasses have not been scientifically proven. Just like food supplements and herbal and natural medicines, the evidence of efficacy is mostly anecdotal and probably due to the well-known placebo effect, since the more likely reason for the lack of sleep is the addictive stimulus from the world wide web itself with the endless torrent of information, entertainment, news, etc. from social media and search engines.
A recent post by the The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists or RANZCO reviewed all the reported scientific studies both in humans and animals related to health and exposure to blue light and they concluded that:
The Philippine Society of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (PSPOS) have also directly addressed this is issue and have repeatedly posted position statements in social media.
But by now, doctors are resigned to the fact that the public can always choose to believe what it wants despite the efforts of experts. Fortunately the greatest danger from this misinformation is loss of money on the part of the buyer, and, if the placebo effect helps them feel better, then the glasses may be worth every peso spent.