An invisible danger that’s undetectable to our senses but slowly affecting our eye health!
Throughout our life we are exposed to the harmful rays, whether it’s ultraviolet, electromagnetic or blue light. Over-exposure to any of these, can have a negative impact on humans. Are you at risk? Unfortunately, YES! We all can become the victim of such dangerous radiations, as we are surrounded by them.
Home, office or roads, electromagnetic pollution is everywhere. The word pollutant itself indicates that this is an undesirable contaminant. However it is a result of human inventions that are affecting the human themselves. The indispensable part of our lives, digital devices are the prime source of this hazard. Many studies have revealed that the electromagnetic radiation emitted from computers, mobile phones, laptops and televisions can negatively affect our bodies. Since, there is more of an eye-contact with these devices, eyes are at risk too.
How electromagnetic radiations generated from digital devices are dangerous?
The electromagnetic spectrum include low frequency, radio waves, microwaves, ultraviolet light, infrared rays, X-rays, gamma rays and visible light. Shorter the wavelength, higher is the danger. Digital devices have wavelength shorter than visible light hence it is of great danger to living things and can damage the eye tissues. Wireless phones emit high frequency of electromagnetic radiations. Our eye lens are sensitive, it’s inescapable from this radiation.
The high frequency devices contain Radio Frequency (RF) energy where the frequency ranges between 30 KHz – 300 GHz. Our eyes mostly get affected by this RF energy as it reduces the flow of blood that is required to cool the cornea. The damage of radiation mostly depends upon the light wavelength, duration of exposure, intensity and augmenting effect. So the more you spend time viewing the digital screens, the more your eyes are at risk.
How to defend your eyes from strain?
It is near impossible to imagine our life without gadgets. So the best bet for this situation is prevention. You cannot avoid using digital devices but you certainly can learn how to defend against its harmfulness.
- You can reduce the risk caused to your eyes by maintaining distance of around one and half to two feet from computers laptops and even smartphones. The more you keep the distance, the less are your eyes at risk
- Try to spend less time on smartphones
- Opt for LCD monitors as it emits less radiation as compared to the traditional CRT type monitors
- Use glasses with EMI coating while using computers, this will act as a shield between your eyes and the electromagnetic radiation generated from computers
EMI coating reduces the unwanted glare caused due to the wavelength and defends the harmful radiation.
Our eyes are naturally designed with filtering and absorption characteristics. However, according to a study, the short wave high energy light (violet and blue light) emitted from most of the electronic devices and even modern home lighting source cannot be significantly filtered by the cornea and lens. Though sunlight contains largest amount of blue light, digital devices despite of having small amount of blue light are much damaging due to the proximity and constant exposure. Viewing these devices for extended period can risk your eyes.
How blue light can affect your eyes?
Our eyes are sensitive to 3 types of colours – red, green, blue. The colours of shortest wavelength are violet and blue. Light with short wavelength have high energy and possess high risk to eye tissues. Blue light is the visible light with high intensity which is very close to the wavelength of ultraviolet on electromagnetic spectrum range. Almost all the visual display devices in our lives like televisions, laptops, smartphones, computers, tablets produce blue light which can cause visual discomfort due to overexposure.
The American Optometric Association reveals that most of the eye related problems among the population under 40 years of age are due to eye injuries or eye strain. Prolonged screen time can be one of the prime reasons that contribute to eye strain.– American Optometric Association
The flickering blue light noticeable on digital devices create a glare that reduces the contrast and causes eyestrain. Continuous exposure can also lead to short and long term eye damage.
How to defend your eyes against strain?
Whether it’s for work, play or entertainment, you cannot get rid of the modern digital devices However, the adverse effects of blue light emitted from these things can be blown away with proper care.
- Blink your eyes at least 15 to 20 times in a minute ( which we often forget while gazing the screens)
- Decrease the time of screen viewing. If not possible, at least take short frequent breaks to relieve your eyes
- The 20-20-20 rule is very helpful to reduce eyestrain. While working on computers, after every 20 minutes look at something which is 20 feet away for 20 seconds
- Opt for computer glasses / blue light blocking glasses
- Anti-reflective lens coating is also effective to reduce glare and increase contrast
Blue light filter glasses have a special coating that reflects the harmful light and avoids it from passing through. It cuts the blue portion of the light spectrum that damages the vision.
If you are facing eye problem due to prolonged exposure to digital screens, it is wise to consult an eye doctor or eye care professional and get right option to protect as well as enhance your vision.