The Negative Effects of Electronics on Your Eyes
During the average day we are subjected to multiple digital screens and devices. Between our computers, cell phones, tablets and television screens, the age of digital technology surrounds us. There are multiple statistics available that showcase our dependence upon digital technology. Digital or technology addiction has become a real problem and therapy exists to assist in separating people from their devices. Here are some eye-opening stats:
- 40% of iPhone users surveyed admitted they’d rather give up their toothbrush (for a week) than to be without their phone
- ½ of all adults in one study admitted sleeping with their phone
- People check their email at least once an hour all day and many check it up to 40 times an hour
- Children and Teenagers spend around 75% of their time connected to a screen
Computer Vision Syndrome
However, all of this screen time is hard on our vision. Extended or constant exposure to screen time causes a couple of different problems. The first is digital eye strain. Everyone has likely experienced the blurred vision of having looked at a screen for too long a period of time. Other, often overlooked, symptoms of digital eye strain include dryness, runny eyes, or headaches. Often these issues self correct but can cause more serious concerns if ignored or experienced too often. They even have a name for it now – Computer Vision Syndrome.
Dangers of Blue Light
The second issue is actually more dangerous than simple eye strain. Electronics actually emit a blue light, which has negative effects on our eyes. Blue light exposure is a high wavelength of visible blue light. It penetrates to the back of the eye, bypassing our eye’s natural filters. This blue light exposure is causing permanent vision damage and can lead to various eye conditions and diseases. It has a silent but dangerous impact on our long term vision. Where a bit of blue light can be fairly harmless, our digital infused lives have dramatically increased our exposure and risk.
Children & Blue Light
Blue light from devices is especially damaging on our children. As education makes leaps and bounds in technology, our kids are not only exposed to devices for fun during the day but also to do homework, schoolwork and other activities. The eyes of our children are still in development making exposure to blue light even more dangerous. The protective pigments developed in human vision are not fully developed in children and that means the light goes straight through without filtering.
Taking Action Against Blue Light
Obviously, reducing the amount of screen time is a great first step in reducing blue light risk. Also, studies have shown that exposure before going to sleep at night affects our ability to sleep soundly so cutting it out before bed is ideal. Another option is to discuss the possibility of purchasing lenses that filter out blue light. The next time you are visiting with your eye doctor ask them about the possibility of adding blue light protection to your lens, or the lens of your children.