Blue blocking spectacle lenses

The best scientific evidence currently available does not support the use of blue-blocking spectacle lenses in the general population to improve visual performance, alleviate the symptoms of eye fatigue or visual discomfort, improve sleep quality or conserve macular health.    

In 2017, the College undertook a systematic literature review, with a view to addressing four questions: 

  • Are blue-blocking spectacle lenses effective in improving visual performance? 
  • Are blue-blocking spectacle lenses effective in alleviating the symptoms of visual fatigue or discomfort? 
  • Are there any structural changes in the macula following the intervention? 
  • Are blue-blocking spectacle lenses effective in improving sleep quality? 

We identified three randomised controlled trials in the review.  

Using the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) approach, our review found that the certainty of evidence was considered to be ‘low’ or ‘very low’ for visual performance, eye fatigue and sleep quality. No studies reporting on the effects of blue-blocking spectacle lenses on macula health were identified. 

The College recommends:  

If optometrists are selling blue-blocking spectacle lenses, they should make their patients aware that there is no strong evidence that blue-blocking spectacle lenses will improve visual performance, alleviate symptoms of eye strain or improve sleep quality. It is also unclear whether blue-light filtering lenses preserve macular health or alter the risks associated with the development or progression of AMD.