Each day, the average person spends about 90 minutes on their smartphones. While there's a lot of debate about whether the amount of time people spend on electronic devices have negatively impacted their social skills, many healthcare providers agree smartphones can hurt eye health due to the blue light they emit. Here's more information about this issue and what you can do to protect yourself.
Blue Light Can Lead to Macular Degeneration
Although light may look white, it actually consists of a spectrum of colors, some visible and some invisible. Blue light sits at the end of the visible spectrum right before UV light. As a result, it has a shorter wavelength and higher levels of energy. Unlike the other colors, the eye has very little natural protection against blue light, which means it can penetrate to the retina and damage light-sensitive cells leading to macular degeneration.
Smartphones and other electronic devices like televisions only emit a little bit of blue light (the sun is the biggest source). However, the amount of time people spend using these devices increases the risk of damage to their eyes and developing vision loss later in life. At minimum, the blue light can cause digital eye strain, which is why many people experience blurry vision, headaches, eye dryness, and other symptoms of this condition after using their phones for long periods of time.
Protecting Your Eyes
There are a couple of ways you can protect your eyes from blue light when using your smartphone. The easiest way is to install a filter on your phone that significantly reduces the amount of blue light your devices emits. These filters can be purchased at many retailers. However, you may want to check your phone to see if you can manually adjust the settings to reduce blue light or download an app that will do it for you.
If you wear glasses or contacts, you can get corrective lens with a special coating that will filter blue light. This is a better option because you'll protect your eyes from blue light emitted by a wider range of devices as well as the sun. Even if you have 20/20 vision, wearing non-prescriptive filtering glasses when using electronic devices and/or going outside is a good preventative measure that may save your eyesight from damage caused by long-term exposure to blue light.
For more information about this problem or recommendation on preventative options, contact an eye care provider like Macuhealth.