These days, we can see people “everytime” on their digital devices mostly smartphones,anytime anywhere . Either walking in the streets or sitting on the bus, they are always found hanging in their phones and texting or doing various activities from smartphones . And most probably, in this current scenario, this is the biggest concerned topic in eye health .
These digital devices : laptops, smartphones and so on all emit blue light which is found to be toxic to specialized cells known as photoreceptors located in the retina, which is responsible for vision.
Research at the University of Toledo has found that exposure to blue light – the glow emitted from most of the digital devices promotes the growth of poisonous molecules in your eyes, leading to macular degeneration.
Professor and study co-author Ajith karunarathne said, “It’s no secret that blue light harms our vision by damaging the eye’s retina.” which was published in Journal Scientific Reports. Furthermore, his team explains that blue light is dangerous for eyes because, unlike other types of light, the eye’s cornea and lens cannot block or reflect it, which allows the light a direct way to light-sensitive cells in the retina(photoreceptors).
The function of photoreceptors cells is to capture visual images and signal them to the brain using a molecule Retinal. Retinal , produced by the eye is triggered by blue light and causes various chemical reactions which can be poisonous to the photoreceptor cells. Once these cells die,there will be no regeneration.
SMARTPHONES AND VISION ISSUES
In a day ,on an average ,an individual looks at his/her digital device 150 times which includes smartphones, computer, laptops, TV screen which can lead to eye strain often called Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). It is predicted that , 2 out of 3 Americans experience eye strain caused by excessive use of smartphones. CVS can lead to headache,dry eyes,blurred vision,sore eyes,eye pain and so on.
Various other issues seen due to staring of digital devices for so long time.
Dry Eye Disease
An unintended effect of blue light from digital devices is the risk of developing dry eye diseases due to decreased blink rate. The normal blink rate is about 12-15 times per minute. As if we keep on staring at smartphones, the blinking rate will decrease which causes the tears to evaporate faster, leaving the cornea to dry due to inappropriate tear distribution and lubrication of the corneal surface.
You won’t mind reading very small text on your screen but your eyes will sure mind . Squinting at on-screen overworked your muscles of eyes,neck and shoulder ,which is a major cause of eye strain and blurry vision.
The crystalline lens which enables the rays of light to reach the retina is flexible. Small muscles attached to the lens helps to change the shape of the lens and allows eyes to focus on near and far objects ,thus we can see clearly. Lens flexibility is controlled by intraocular muscle (ciliary muscles through zonules). While viewing at a distance, muscles are relaxed but if we keep on staring at near objects for so long time , muscles get tired slowly and as a result of this eye pain and headache problem may be observed.
Our eyes are not meant to see directly at light for such a long period of time , which is the reason for causing eye strain from glare of smartphones.
Spending a large amount of time on digital devices definitely will cause eye issues which is a nearly impossible task to stop people from using them,but at least we can apply some preventive measures as we all know prevention is better than cure.
Nowadays,all works are being conducted and controlled from digital devices. It’s impossible for us to live without it but we can TAKE A BREAK. Just get up from your screen and walk away or put your mobile down and focus something far away and give your eyes rest.
Remember to blink your eyes often while using smartphones because it can reduce the amount of strain you place on your eyes. By blinking you will be helping your eyes retain moisture and refreshed.
Apply 20-20-20 rule , this rule is particularly made for computer users who work on computers for a long time. This rule states, For every 20 minutes spent on screen,a person should look at something 20 feet away from the screen for 20 seconds. This will help to minimize the eye strain.
You can use special BLUE CUT LENS while using your digital devices. As our devices emit blue light, those lenses will cut off the rays and help to prevent these rays from entering our eyes and various effects of blue light in our eyes can be minimized.
‘Some cell phones companies are adding light filters that might be able to mediate damage to the eye.’ Visiting assistant professor in University of Toledo,Department of chemistry and biochemistry, John Payton said.
Apple currently offers the “nightshift” setting and samsung offers a blue light filter to decrease the amount of blue light that is displayed on the screen of the device.