News

Eyes on Health: The Benefits of Blue Light Blocking Glasses

How HSA-subsidized spectacles can help you save your sight, sleep and sanity.

April 18, 2024
Sam O'Keefe
Co-founder & CEO of Flex
Flex - Blue Light Blocking Glasses Benefits
Flex - Blue Light Blocking Glasses Benefits

Overview

Overview

Overview

Most people alive today have literally spent years staring at screens. In fact, Americans spend a staggering seven hours and three minutes on digital devices each day! 

Now, brace yourself: if you calculate that out from the age of 18 to 80, that ends up being 18 years logged on your laptop, smartphone, smartwatch, and TV. What an eye sore!

Some of the effects of all this screen time include strained eyes, headaches, and disrupted sleep. One of the culprits? Blue light.

In this article, we dive into the world of blue light, exploring its impact on our health and the benefits of blue light blocking glasses in counteracting some of its negative effects. We'll also unveil a screen time tip: how to use your Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to pay for a pair.

Blue Light Blues: The Health Impacts of Too Much Screen Time

In our digitally connected world, much of our screen time is nonnegotiable work-related activity. Since we have to spend so much of our days on devices, let’s talk about what all this blue light exposure might mean for your health.

What is blue light? 

Blue light is a part of the visible light spectrum, naturally occurring in sunlight and emitted by digital devices like phones, computers, and tablets. Those blue rays from the sun play a vital role in regulating our sleep-wake cycle, also known as the circadian rhythm. 

However, excessive exposure to artificial blue light, particularly in the evening, has been shown to disrupt this cycle, leading to sleep problems, eye strain, and numerous other issues that have boomed in prevalence in recent years.

How does it affect your wellness? 

Among computer users, around 50% experience digital eye strain. This constant blue light bombardment can lead to a host of woes, including:

But wait, there's more! Eye discomfort from digital screens is commonly couched under a broader term known as Computer Vision Syndrome, which also includes things like neck and shoulder pain, difficulty concentrating, and dry eyes.

Some other factors that contribute to digital eye strain are worth mentioning:

  • Glare from screens: Can cause discomfort and fatigue.

  • Viewing items at a close distance: Studies show that holding your phone too close for extended periods can tire your eye muscles.

That’s a blue light bummer. So what can we do to counteract this?

The Health Benefits of Blue Light Blocking Glasses

One new tool to consider for your everyday kit are blue light blocking glasses.

What are blue light blocking glasses? 

About what you’d expect; they are eyewear with lenses that help filter out or reduce the amount of blue light that reaches your eyes. 

How do blue light blocking glasses work? 

Typically, the lenses contain special coatings or materials designed to absorb or reflect blue light. These lenses act as a barrier, preventing a significant portion of blue light from passing through.

Some glasses utilize lens coatings that absorb blue light wavelengths, similar to how sunscreen absorbs UV rays to protect your skin. Others have lenses that reflect blue light away from your eyes, bouncing it off the surface of the lens before it has a chance to enter your eyes. Those with a slight yellow or amber tint also enhance contrast and reduce glare, which makes them extra beneficial in low-light conditions.

Are blue light blocking glasses effective? 

It’s important to note that while blue light blocking glasses are effective… at blocking blue light, that doesn’t mean they are a cure-all for digital eye strain.

Early studies — as well plenty of anecdotal evidence — show promise, suggesting that blue light blocking glasses may improve sleep quality and reduce eye strain. Effectiveness will vary depending on the quality of the glasses and individual differences in sensitivity to blue light. 

Can you wear blue light glasses all day? 

There’s no evidence to suggest wearing blue light glasses throughout the day is harmful — especially if you look good in them. Just know that they’re not a replacement for taking care of your eyes.


Glasses or not, it's essential to take regular breaks from looking at a screen. Try adhering to the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds to reduce eye strain.

Other Ways to Support Eye Health

Blue light blocking glasses can alleviate some eye issues, but they are just one intervention to consider. Here are some additional ways to keep your eyes happy:

  • Schedule annual vision check-ups: Regular eye exams are a must for good eye health. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends a comprehensive eye exam every one to two years. Early detection and treatment of eye conditions can help prevent vision loss.

  • Utilize built-in features: Many devices offer "Night Shift" or similar settings that reduce blue light emission in the evening. These features can be a helpful tool to minimize blue light exposure before bed.

  • Adjust your reading posture: Maintain good posture and proper distance from reading materials. The American Optometric Association recommends holding reading materials 16 to 18 inches away from your face. This can help reduce eye strain and fatigue.

  • Consider blue light reading glasses: Blue light reading glasses may offer you additional comfort when reading under artificial light, especially if you find regular blue light blocking glasses to be too dark. Blue light reading glasses typically have a milder blue light filter compared to standard blue light blocking glasses.

If you are looking for a pair of blue light blocking glasses, though, we recommend the following brands.

Partner Spotlights: Bye Blue Light and Fresh Lens

Bye Blue Light: A pair for all occasions

At work, around home, or on your gaming device, Bye Blue Light offers a range of blue light blocking eyewear. Their collection includes classic designs to contemporary trends and everyday wear to highly fashionable pieces for men, women, and children. Express your unique style while reducing digital strain. 

Fresh Lens: Your blue light blocking contact lens provider

Not everyone likes to wear glasses, luckily, Fresh Lens carries contacts with blue light filtering technology. The best part is that prescription contact lenses are covered by your HSA and FSA!

Are Blue Light Blocking Glasses HSA/FSA Eligible?

Regulations have shifted over the years, and currently non-prescription blue light blocking glasses are not considered a qualified medical expense by the IRS. This means you can’t automatically use your HSA or FSA to pay for a pair.

How Flex Can Help You Use Your HSA/FSA to Pay for a Blue Light Blocking Glasses:

To use your HSA or FSA to buy blue light blocking glasses you have two options:

With a prescription: If you have a prescription for glasses or corrective lenses, such as for reading, you can get a pair of eyewear with blue light blocking lenses.

Simply use your HSA or FSA debit card at check out when at an optometrist’s office or eyewear store, pharmacy, or other medical establishment. If you’re buying from an online brand, however, they may not be able to accept your payment. That’s where Flex comes in: If a company has partnered with Flex, you'll see a "checkout with Flex" option on the payment page. Pay for the product or service with your HSA or FSA card and checkout as usual. Flex will substantiate the purchase automatically. 

Just be sure to save your receipt as you may need them for reimbursement or documentation purposes.

With a LOMN: Alternatively, if you don’t have prescription glasses but would like to use blue light blocking glasses to address a condition such as eye strain or Computer Vision Snydrome, you can talk with your doctor to obtain a Letter of Medical Necessity. This document stipulates why a product or service is medically necessary to address a specific health condition and allows you to use your HSA or FSA to pay for it.

Traditionally, the process of getting a LOMN can be tedious and time-consuming. However, if the company works with us here at Flex, like Fresh Lens and Bye Blue Light, getting one is a simple part of the checkout flow.

Enjoy the Benefits of Blue Light Blocking Glasses With Your HSAs/FSAs

As we get more connected with our screens — both professionally and in our leisure time — prioritizing eye health becomes paramount. 

Blue light blocking glasses are one solution to combat the adverse effects of excessive screen time, and by leveraging your HSA or FSA, you can invest in your vision while maximizing your healthcare dollars. 

Say goodbye to the blues and get ready to see the world through rose-colored glasses!

Most people alive today have literally spent years staring at screens. In fact, Americans spend a staggering seven hours and three minutes on digital devices each day! 

Now, brace yourself: if you calculate that out from the age of 18 to 80, that ends up being 18 years logged on your laptop, smartphone, smartwatch, and TV. What an eye sore!

Some of the effects of all this screen time include strained eyes, headaches, and disrupted sleep. One of the culprits? Blue light.

In this article, we dive into the world of blue light, exploring its impact on our health and the benefits of blue light blocking glasses in counteracting some of its negative effects. We'll also unveil a screen time tip: how to use your Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to pay for a pair.

Blue Light Blues: The Health Impacts of Too Much Screen Time

In our digitally connected world, much of our screen time is nonnegotiable work-related activity. Since we have to spend so much of our days on devices, let’s talk about what all this blue light exposure might mean for your health.

What is blue light? 

Blue light is a part of the visible light spectrum, naturally occurring in sunlight and emitted by digital devices like phones, computers, and tablets. Those blue rays from the sun play a vital role in regulating our sleep-wake cycle, also known as the circadian rhythm. 

However, excessive exposure to artificial blue light, particularly in the evening, has been shown to disrupt this cycle, leading to sleep problems, eye strain, and numerous other issues that have boomed in prevalence in recent years.

How does it affect your wellness? 

Among computer users, around 50% experience digital eye strain. This constant blue light bombardment can lead to a host of woes, including:

But wait, there's more! Eye discomfort from digital screens is commonly couched under a broader term known as Computer Vision Syndrome, which also includes things like neck and shoulder pain, difficulty concentrating, and dry eyes.

Some other factors that contribute to digital eye strain are worth mentioning:

  • Glare from screens: Can cause discomfort and fatigue.

  • Viewing items at a close distance: Studies show that holding your phone too close for extended periods can tire your eye muscles.

That’s a blue light bummer. So what can we do to counteract this?

The Health Benefits of Blue Light Blocking Glasses

One new tool to consider for your everyday kit are blue light blocking glasses.

What are blue light blocking glasses? 

About what you’d expect; they are eyewear with lenses that help filter out or reduce the amount of blue light that reaches your eyes. 

How do blue light blocking glasses work? 

Typically, the lenses contain special coatings or materials designed to absorb or reflect blue light. These lenses act as a barrier, preventing a significant portion of blue light from passing through.

Some glasses utilize lens coatings that absorb blue light wavelengths, similar to how sunscreen absorbs UV rays to protect your skin. Others have lenses that reflect blue light away from your eyes, bouncing it off the surface of the lens before it has a chance to enter your eyes. Those with a slight yellow or amber tint also enhance contrast and reduce glare, which makes them extra beneficial in low-light conditions.

Are blue light blocking glasses effective? 

It’s important to note that while blue light blocking glasses are effective… at blocking blue light, that doesn’t mean they are a cure-all for digital eye strain.

Early studies — as well plenty of anecdotal evidence — show promise, suggesting that blue light blocking glasses may improve sleep quality and reduce eye strain. Effectiveness will vary depending on the quality of the glasses and individual differences in sensitivity to blue light. 

Can you wear blue light glasses all day? 

There’s no evidence to suggest wearing blue light glasses throughout the day is harmful — especially if you look good in them. Just know that they’re not a replacement for taking care of your eyes.


Glasses or not, it's essential to take regular breaks from looking at a screen. Try adhering to the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds to reduce eye strain.

Other Ways to Support Eye Health

Blue light blocking glasses can alleviate some eye issues, but they are just one intervention to consider. Here are some additional ways to keep your eyes happy:

  • Schedule annual vision check-ups: Regular eye exams are a must for good eye health. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends a comprehensive eye exam every one to two years. Early detection and treatment of eye conditions can help prevent vision loss.

  • Utilize built-in features: Many devices offer "Night Shift" or similar settings that reduce blue light emission in the evening. These features can be a helpful tool to minimize blue light exposure before bed.

  • Adjust your reading posture: Maintain good posture and proper distance from reading materials. The American Optometric Association recommends holding reading materials 16 to 18 inches away from your face. This can help reduce eye strain and fatigue.

  • Consider blue light reading glasses: Blue light reading glasses may offer you additional comfort when reading under artificial light, especially if you find regular blue light blocking glasses to be too dark. Blue light reading glasses typically have a milder blue light filter compared to standard blue light blocking glasses.

If you are looking for a pair of blue light blocking glasses, though, we recommend the following brands.

Partner Spotlights: Bye Blue Light and Fresh Lens

Bye Blue Light: A pair for all occasions

At work, around home, or on your gaming device, Bye Blue Light offers a range of blue light blocking eyewear. Their collection includes classic designs to contemporary trends and everyday wear to highly fashionable pieces for men, women, and children. Express your unique style while reducing digital strain. 

Fresh Lens: Your blue light blocking contact lens provider

Not everyone likes to wear glasses, luckily, Fresh Lens carries contacts with blue light filtering technology. The best part is that prescription contact lenses are covered by your HSA and FSA!

Are Blue Light Blocking Glasses HSA/FSA Eligible?

Regulations have shifted over the years, and currently non-prescription blue light blocking glasses are not considered a qualified medical expense by the IRS. This means you can’t automatically use your HSA or FSA to pay for a pair.

How Flex Can Help You Use Your HSA/FSA to Pay for a Blue Light Blocking Glasses:

To use your HSA or FSA to buy blue light blocking glasses you have two options:

With a prescription: If you have a prescription for glasses or corrective lenses, such as for reading, you can get a pair of eyewear with blue light blocking lenses.

Simply use your HSA or FSA debit card at check out when at an optometrist’s office or eyewear store, pharmacy, or other medical establishment. If you’re buying from an online brand, however, they may not be able to accept your payment. That’s where Flex comes in: If a company has partnered with Flex, you'll see a "checkout with Flex" option on the payment page. Pay for the product or service with your HSA or FSA card and checkout as usual. Flex will substantiate the purchase automatically. 

Just be sure to save your receipt as you may need them for reimbursement or documentation purposes.

With a LOMN: Alternatively, if you don’t have prescription glasses but would like to use blue light blocking glasses to address a condition such as eye strain or Computer Vision Snydrome, you can talk with your doctor to obtain a Letter of Medical Necessity. This document stipulates why a product or service is medically necessary to address a specific health condition and allows you to use your HSA or FSA to pay for it.

Traditionally, the process of getting a LOMN can be tedious and time-consuming. However, if the company works with us here at Flex, like Fresh Lens and Bye Blue Light, getting one is a simple part of the checkout flow.

Enjoy the Benefits of Blue Light Blocking Glasses With Your HSAs/FSAs

As we get more connected with our screens — both professionally and in our leisure time — prioritizing eye health becomes paramount. 

Blue light blocking glasses are one solution to combat the adverse effects of excessive screen time, and by leveraging your HSA or FSA, you can invest in your vision while maximizing your healthcare dollars. 

Say goodbye to the blues and get ready to see the world through rose-colored glasses!

Flex is a modern marketplace for consumers to discover and purchase HSA/FSA eligible products. From fitness and nutrition, to sleep and mental health, Flex takes a holistic view of healthcare and enables consumers to use their pre-tax money to do the same.