New glasses could prevent side effects of blue screens

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A new type of glasses could protect people from some of the side effects of blue screens, which can include sleeping problems. (KGO-TV )

If you've ever had trouble sleeping, your computer or smartphone may be partially to blame.

There is a new type of glasses that could help protect people from the side effects of those blue screens.

Spending hours in front of a glowing screen can definitely strain your eyes, but could a specific wave-length of that electronic light actually disrupt your sleep?

Ryosuke Kimura is with the Japanese eyewear maker JINS, which just opened its first store in San Francisco. Their glasses are designed to limit the amount of blue light reaching the eye. The theory is that the bluish light affects our bodies in the same way as daylight.

"There is a cell within your retina, what it does is capture blue light, and it makes your body activated," Kimura said.

He says studies in Japan and elsewhere have linked the light to sleeplessness and lower levels of the sleep hormone melatonin.

"It's going to be harder to get to sleep," Kimura said.

The JINS Screen filter blocks at least 25 percent of the blue light spectrum. Other brands are also appearing on the market.

Still some experts believe more studies are needed on their long term benefit. Doctor Kevin Denny chairs the Department of Ophthalmology at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.

"There's a lot of other variables going on in addition to blue light exposure," Denny said.

As computer and cellphone users struggle with growing hours of screen time, glasses like the JINS Screen are growing in popularity. All in an effort to keep technology in better balance with the body's natural rhythms.

Written and produced by Tim Didion
Related Topics:
technologysleepcomputerssmartphonessciencehealtheye careSan Francisco
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