By Natalia Potrapeluk
The zoom lecture has begun and the cameras start to turn on. This time, significantly more people have glasses on. The blue light reflects off their lenses and you realize your classmates didn’t suddenly suffer vision loss and instead began caring more about their vision.
Currently, students all around the world are adjusting their lifestyles to fit online school, whether that be getting more familiar with programs like Zoom, or finding new ways to make friends through social media. With this greater role of technology, students have been more concerned about their health, especially their eyesight. Consequently, there has been a heightened interest in the blue light glasses industry. The market is projected to reach $38 million by 2026 and sales more than doubled during the pandemic for the company Revolve.
Globally, the industry is worth around $19 million now and is estimated to reach $28 million by 2024 with a compound annual growth rate of 7.6 percent. Its prominence in the finance industry is seen through its many manufacturing companies, the most significant companies being Hoya, ZEISS, Cyxus, B+D, Quay, Felix Gray, and MVMT. Hoya Corporation plays a substantial role as a large manufacturer in medical-related equipment. There has been an upward trend in stock price for Hoya Corporation with a 197.33% increase in the last 5 years, and the company has a net worth today of $45.94 billion dollars. In the last three months, the company had a strong return with a growth rate of 20.98 percent. Its investment in blue light glasses can make the industry skyrocket. Many firms in financial services may also invest in blue light glasses as blue light has been proven to disrupt circadian rhythms of workers, therefore intervening in their performances.
A University of Houston College of Optometry study found that prolonged exposure to the blue light from screens can disrupt sleep, and cause migraines and macular degeneration. Many have even labeled the blue light glasses as the antidote for COVID-19 since an improvement in sleep can have significantly beneficial effects on your health. For example, if your body is deprived of sleep, it will produce less infection-fighting antibodies.
After reading the harmful effects of blue light, I have not only purchased the blue light glasses myself but also changed the color of my screens to a warmer tone. Although blue light glasses are relatively new and more research needs to be conducted on its actual benefits, as a student basically living through a screen now, I personally will be wearing the blue light glasses more often. Better to be safe than sorry!