Why you don’t need blue light lenses: Hidden camera investigation (Marketplace)

Why you don’t need blue light lenses: Hidden camera investigation (Marketplace)


[♪♪] [Makda] We’re in a
galaxy of glasses. [Makda] Shopping for spectacles. There’s choice galore. [Makda] Our secret shopper is
a Marketplace producer and she really does wear glasses. The frames are
all about fashion, but it’s the lenses
that are the real focus. [Makda] We’re taking a hard look
at a filter that’s supposed to block the blue
light from screens. [Makda] Blue light-filtering
lenses are everywhere online, but we want to test how
the country’s big chains are pitching the
latest trend in-store, so we’re undercover
inside Hakim Optical, LensCrafters, Vogue Optical,
and Hudson’s Bay Optical. We’re visiting three
stores for each of them. That means a dozen visits. [Makda] The sales pitch
sounds and looks convincing. [Makda] And then the
claims start to sound alarming. [Makda] At one chain, we
even hear the “c” word. [Makda] Yikes. So what does it
cost to save our eyes? [Makda] And it
seems to be popular. [Makda] So should we all buy in? To find out, we’re off to
Philadelphia to visit one of North America’s
top eye specialists. Along the way, we meet people
spooked by the light from their screens, too. I think using the computer or
the cell phone for a long time can do harm. It can have retina detachment
by using it too much time. I’ve heard that
it’s bad for you, so I got my glasses with the
blue light lens protecting so that when I look at my computer
screen or my cell phone, I’m at work, whatever, that
it doesn’t damage my eyes. If you look at screens too much,
your brain and eyes can get damaged. Am I about to be duped? [Makda] So we’re off to
America’s oldest eye hospital, established almost
200 years ago. Today it’s 15 floors
devoted to everything eyeballs. Look way up high. [Makda] That’s where
Montreal-born Dr Sunir Garg works. Awesome. Yeah, otherwise, your
retina looks really great. [Makda] He’s an eye
doctor and an eye surgeon. Dr Garg is also a spokesperson
for the American Academy Of Ophthalmology. We keep hearing the same thing
about blue-light filter lenses. Is this a new thing? It’s a new thing, and
it’s all over the internet. I can’t even open up, you
know, any website without, you know, “Hey, maybe you want
to buy these blue light “blocking lenses.” [Makda] Okay,
then, let’s hit play. [Makda] We heard
that several times. Is blue light from
your screens harmful? No. It’s not. And I don’t know where that’s
come from and why it’s taken off so much, because
it’s not data driven. I can’t fault them, because I’m
sure they’re getting a little info sheet that
says you know what, here’s three talking points
about blue light blocking lenses. [Makda] He understands
why we’d buy into this. I think people
are thinking, Jeez, you’re right, after I use my
computer for a bunch of hours, my eyes don’t feel very good. I can’t see really well,
they’re kind of irritated, but what’s bothering
them isn’t the blue light, it’s the fact that when they’re
staring at the screen a lot, they’re not blinking as often. That causes the eye to dry out
and when your eyes become dry, they become irritated
and scratchy and tired. [Makda] There is a
simple fix for that. What you should do is just take
a break and the American Academy Of Ophthalmology
has this 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, take a 20
second break and look 20 feet off into the distance, and that
will break that near staring that we tend to do when
we’re looking at the screen. [Makda] But back
on hidden camera, we never hear that advice. Yeah. Tearing your eyes out would be
really cool around Halloween, but it’s not
something, you know, that we see and I think
people are exaggerating stuff. Well, Jeez, I have these light
rays that are little daggers that are coming into my eyes
and poking holes in my macula, which is sorta what
she’s making it sound like. She’s saying
“penetrating the eyes”. That sounds scary. It does sound scary. And if I’m trying to sell you
something that you don’t need, maybe sounding
scary helps to sell. [Makda] Now on to claims of
serious damage to the back of the eyeball, Dr Garg’s
passion and specialty. This whole orange area
is called the retina. The centre of the
retina gets a special name. It’s called the macula and the
macula is the part of the eye that gives us our good
reading and driving vision. [Makda] In our hidden camera,
the staff in stores also bring up the retina and the macula. [Makda] Unfortunately,
she’s just wrong. And there’s no evidence at all
that blue light from the screen is gonna cause
macular degeneration. [Makda] Blue light from our
screens degrades our retina? I don’t have patients coming in
ever with any signs of damage to their retinas from looking
at their screen all day. Retinal damage,
macular degeneration, that sounds serious. And it IS serious, but the blue
light from your screen is not the cause of that stuff. And people should do things
to protect themselves against developing macular degeneration,
but that’s not buying these glasses. That’s eating a proper diet,
foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, eating
stuff like broccoli, spinach, kale,
three servings a week. We know that helps. [Makda] But we don’t
hear that in stores. We hear about studies. There are no studies
that are showing that. Nothing in people. And so people will quote that. Yes, blue light can
hurt retinal cells, but they’re not telling you
that’s not been shown in a person or any group of
people using screens, it’s mostly in a petri dish or
taking a poor mouse and holding its head in a position and
shining a blue light intensely into their mouse
eyeballs for hours on end. That can also
potentially be harmful, but that’s, again, not
how it happens in people. [Makda] The marketing in stores
also sends the same messages about the dangers of
blue light from a screen. And so do the company websites. So everything that
you have seen so far, what stands out? You know, I think people are
exaggerating the problem and are misleading their customers. I think it’s mostly benefiting
the companies that are selling these things, truthfully. [Makda] We share our
findings with the retailers. They declined to come on camera,
but they say the science is still evolving and argue that
blue light can be damaging. Some say they’ll reinforce their
staff training and add that blue light filter lenses
won’t harm consumers. And the makers of those lenses? They say people feel better
using them and they reduce eyestrain. To get a second opinion about
whether blue light from screens is harmful, we head
to Oxford, England, to meet an optical
radiation expert. Professor John O’Hagan
knows all about blue light. Blue light in our normal
environment is not dangerous at all. The main source of blue light
for most people will be from the sky. [Makda] From the sky? Really? So how much blue light
actually comes from our screens? We ask him to
measure that for us. The light level coming from the
phone is so low that we need to turn down the lights in the
room and bring the blinds down, otherwise we’re not
going to measure very much. [Makda] Professor O’Hagan
fires up the spectro-radiometer. [Professor O’Hagan] Levels are
very low. Very low output. There is no evidence that the
blue light from your mobile device is harmful. [Makda] Three years ago, Public
Health England asked him to do similar testing. As part of our study, we looked
at a whole range of different phones, tablets, screens. We didn’t find anything that
gave us cause for concern. [Makda] He says we get around 30
times more blue light from the sky. O’Hagan’s test determined
the screens are harmless. But that’s not the
message on hidden camera. Remember this? Cancer? Yeah, no. Those are the two most scary
things you can talk about, cancer and blindness, and you’re
telling me these glasses will protect against both? Where do I sign? But that’s just not where
the scientific data is. [Makda] Opticians at Hudson’s
Bay Optical are the only ones who mention a link to cancer, but
they seem to be getting it from this in-store pamphlet. And the cancer claim shows up
on Vogue Optical’s website, too. What did you think of
everything that you saw? These are big companies that
are putting this information out there, letting customers know
that that blue light from your screens is damaging. I think that’s a
failing on their part. You know, they should have
the resources and the time and, sort of, the pride in what
they’re selling to get good information to
their salespeople. [Makda] Hudson’s Bay Optical now
says comments about cancer and macular degeneration are wrong. They say they’ll pull those
pamphlets and retrain staff. And the maker of the
lenses stands by its marketing. Finally at a few stores,
staff get this next claim right. Blue light from ANY
source can keep you awake. There’s an easy fix for that. In the evening, turn on
your device’s night mode. Your screens aren’t
going to make you blind. I don’t need to spend
money on these things. I should do things that will
help my eyes which is to take a break periodically
when I’m doing things, start quieting down
before night time, eat a good diet,
exercise and not smoke. Those things will help your eyes
way more than spending money on these blue-blocking lenses.

100 Replies to “Why you don’t need blue light lenses: Hidden camera investigation (Marketplace)

  1. Telling fraudulent things in order to make more money is what big business does.

    IF , the lenses blocked Blue Light then you will only see Green , and Red colors . No Yellow , no Blues , Purples , or any color that has Blue in it. Your HD TVs , Monitors , and Image devices would be pointless . They would all look like a broken CRT monitor from 30 years ago.

  2. This is a good video but I'm finding it hard to trust CBC Marketplace after last week's video about Milk.

    They made the claim we need to have A LOT of milk in our diet. It was an absurd amount. So I googled it, and sure enough, I couldn't find any sites that are recommending milk. So what's up CBC?

  3. I've been watching blue light long before personal computing was invented. Ever heard of TV? If it was a danger we'd all be blind.

  4. Glasses , glasses, glasses. I used to have two pairs. One for reading, and one for long distance viewing, such as those used when driving. But my long distance glasses busted. So I just used my reading glasses. This exercised my eyes and soon this one pair of glasses was all that I needed. Each time you get a new prescription, for new lenses as you get older, the glasses are now doing the work for you rather than your eye muscles doing the work. This in turn makes your eye focusing abilities become worse and worse. But it is very important that you get new prescription glasses. Without these new glasses, other people can not become richer and richer, while you become poorer and poorer.

  5. Blue light can mess with our circadian rhythm, but that’s it. In fact, device manufacturers are already adding night mode features that reduce blue light. I thought we got past the eye damage from screens myth years ago. Remember when we found out that television wasn’t really hurting our eyes like Mom said it would?

  6. It effects your Circadian rhythm. It's been a subject of research. It effects your sleep cycle by reducing the production of Melatonin. Just use a blue light filter at night so you can get to sleep proper. And yes, Eat your veggies.

  7. Ultimately… I used to have regular lenses up until three weeks ago and I had major issues with them because they would reflect the light from PC, phone etc. and shine in my eye, would always focus on the light rather than the picture… I used to have headaches and also my dioptry worsened. Since I bought these protective non shiny lenses I have zero trouble with my eyes, for the first time in years… The saleswoman didn't even force them or said anything about them xD i am happy… Regardless of formal specifications… I CAN FINALLY SEE
    The only downside is they are more difficult to clean

  8. My phone doesnt have night mode. I fall asleep much better since i started using blue light glasses. My eyes also hurt less.

  9. Staring at an artificial light even without blue light is bad for us, i have blue light turned off on my phone snd it still gives me a headache, only light we should look at is sunlight

  10. Good to know~ I've been hearing the same things. And since being an Esthetician, I was wondering if the bad side effects would effect the skin as well/ or by using Blue LED therapy for acne etc.
    Hope more studies Come out.

  11. I was one of the first people to get this in the USA 3 yrs ago. It makes no difference to me.
    Bunch of Bull..though 3 years ago I think they thought it was going to help.
    Remember 3 years ago the phones were different, but like the Dr. said, no issue.

  12. I work in front of computer monitors 50+hrs a week, blue light filters reduce eye strain, head aches and insomnia. I am not a medical specialist or sell glasses.

  13. Exposure to blue light has strong links to disrupting the circadian rhythm. The eyestrain part is still debatable. Eyestrain is a very generic symptom and not clearly defined to begin with so its difficult to quantify that as well as conduct proper studies on that. Thus blue light reduction should still be considered when talking about eyestrain. Now as for the amd talk, that's complete bs. Amd first off is still not fully understood. There is no single isolated cause for amd. What research as concluded is its multifactorial, so to say blue light can cause amd is completely misleading.

  14. Had never heard anything about blue light causing eye damage…only that it can disrupt sleep cycles if you stare at a screen before going to bed.

  15. soo unbox theraphy spread a hoax?? i knew it… (you can even see my comment there also stating its not true because we have retired office worker they didn't go blind in their 60 and ya guess it they now using smartphone still didn't go blind oops..)

  16. Educate there staff against promotion of blue light . It was the company's idea to upsale customers on things they dont need in the first place

  17. I have blue light filtering lenses on my glasses, but I don't believe that blue light is damaging to the eyes. Being prone to headaches/migraines and having an office job, I have found the new lenses help "dim" the background light of computer screens and has helped prevent or ease off headaches. I wouldn't discredit the lenses completely, I think they can be helpful in some instances.

  18. Ok, when will we see a hidden camera story about what goes on in the back rooms of CBC news?

    Oh, wait! That’s right. Never.

  19. do you guys use Windows 10, cuz if you do it have a feature called night light, it basically reduce the blue pixels, what do you say about that?

  20. If blue light is a problem, why dont the manufacturers put protection into the screens of the product they sell? Common sense I think!

  21. Filipinos are good employees cause they never think right and wrong just do what the company wants. That’s why Filipinos are all over service industries. Worst worker ever. Tired because does two jobs and literally Sleeping at both jobs. No hate it’s just fact.

  22. Blue light itself isn’t bad all the time but people seem to forget we are addicted to things that have blue light 24/7. Opticians aren’t trying to up sell blue light. They are trying to protect your eyes.

  23. blue light filtering glasses definitely helps to reduce the glaring brightness from screen, to test on android you can use night mode, for pc use software flux or windows 10 comes default with night mode. Anyone who has a job of sitting in-front of pc staring white background pdf docs can attest to this. At work where I cannot control night mode settings I have to use my glasses. Why else 'dark mode' on apps and sites are becoming more popular, it saves battery and is relaxing for your eyes.

  24. I use a red light filter on all my phones and computers. Blue light is bad when your going to sleep because it does mess up your sleep cycle. ther then that that's it. If this was the case looking around with the sun would cause eye issues. Well yes that's caused by looking directly at the sun. I hate when companies do this. Just to make more money.

  25. Yeah the reason you dont need them is because you already have programs and apps to apply it to your device does it work? Yes. Your eyes don't get tired from long sessions of using the computer

  26. My optimist told me that blue light lenses are a scam and not worth the ink the promo stuff is printed on
    This is why I trust my local eye doctor

  27. I loved watching tv as a kid. With a college degree in computer science in 1985, I been using the computer since then at work and at home. My vision exam checkups since have varied little accounting for normal healthy wear from age.

  28. Save your money and get laser eye surgery. Sure its a little costly. But it will save you money in the long run. Instead of paying for new pair every year, get surgery and never pay for expensive glasses or contacts ever again.

  29. Wow now I don’t feel bad for opting for regular lenses when my optician was trying to sell me those blue light filtering lenses. Couldn’t afford the extra $100 they were going to charge me, and actually thought I was doing my health a disservice.

  30. my TV's LCD is always on cool temperature and low backlight or else the low contrast from the red color give me headaches… doesn't really hurt my eyes tho.

  31. Do you investigate only America's problems? I wish we had someone like you in India as well. Love your team and the efforts and risks you put behind the scenes to get out the truth ? Thank you Market Place.

  32. What about the UV light coming from electronic screens? Is that even possible? They say we should have glasses that can filter UV rays to protect our sight? Like RayBan brand has UV filter

  33. If you say that then I think we don't need any kind of eye glasses as our eye is made of muscle and muscle can recover itself if it's given time to recover. Glasses are only needed if eye damage is from birth

  34. Please do one on opticians selling contacts. An optician tried to sell me contacts for more money than online saying online sellers sell expired lenses, blah, blah.

  35. I am the only people who HATE night mode , I can't focus on those yellowish screen and makes me want to throw up. Same thing as those "warm" light, dosn't feel warm at all.

  36. This video is misleading. The video title should really be about dishonest sales tactics and not about the blue light specifically.

  37. Blue LEDs are brighter than other colours, they have more energy because shorter wavelength. Most screens correct for this, though I find it easier to read the screen with my filter glasses. It tones it down, kinda like reading a book with that light brown paper.

  38. Pay for that Thing You cannot see & Never Bothered You Before. – NOW they Have a New FEAR to Sell…  Throw the COMPUTER OUT

  39. OPTICIANS are licensed and go to school for their profession. There not trying to sell you something biased on commissions most of us get nothing. We are simply trying to protect your eyes and help you see. People complaining about mark ups on glasses and contacts are forgetting two things. 1. Glasses and contacts are a medical device that is prescribed by a doctor. Your going to pay more(just like you do with medication) 2. Everything you buy has been marked up. Canadians amaze me with their ignorance and entitled attitude.

  40. I've worn contact lenses for 2 decades and have worked behind a computer screen for the last 7 years. My eyes/contacts kept drying out midday then early in the day so I went looking for a resolution & found some semi-blue-blocking computer glasses and right-away I went from using a bunch of eyedrops during the day to using none. Been wearing these for 4 years and it was a lifesaver for me.

  41. Omg so like my glasses have a blue light filter and like people at school would annoy me cuz they would keep telling me that my glasses are purple
    They would constantly tell me that they see purple through my lenses!

  42. Just like the TV ruined everyone's eyesight when they were kids….
    Or like that time u made a face and it got stuck like that

  43. Absolutely false. The blue blocking glasses have made a tremendous difference for me. I couldn't stand working on the computer until I got the blue blocking glasses! When the optician put a blue light flashlight on them it did not go through- so what do you call that? It shone everywhere else. When I use my old glasses without realizing it my eyes get so irritated I want to pull them out. Then I realize I'm wearing the old glasses (which are the same style).

  44. Numerous studies confirm that cumulative lifetime exposure to blue light causes photo-oxidation of retinal cells that leads to AMD.

  45. The original purpose is filtering blue light because it keep you awake! Yellow-ish orange-ish (like dawn) have much less effect!

    So, in the evening, if you have hard time sleeping, a yellow filter does help. Now, there are apps for phones/computers to filter blue and tone everything yellow/orange.

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