If you lie in bed or sit in the dark and play with your cell phone or other electronic devices, you could be damaging your eyes. Not only will using digital devices in bed cause a disruption in your sleep cycle, but the blue light that emanates from these devices has been linked to a variety of health problems.
The blue light coming off of these devices is a part of the full light spectrum, so everyone is exposed to it during the day when out in the sunlight. However, when you are exposed to it at night, in the dark, at the high levels that are emitted from cell phones, computers, tablets, and other devices with LED screens, it can cause problems to your eyes and vision.
Problems Caused by Blue Light
When your eyes are directly exposed to blue light, it can cause the retina to become damaged. According to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, damage to the retina caused by blue light can result in the development of macular degeneration. Macular degeneration causes loss of central vision and when that happens, you will no longer have the ability to see things in front of you.
It also disrupts your sleep cycle because it limits the production of melatonin in your brain, which is a hormone that is responsible for your moods, emotions, and regulating your sleep patterns. If you’ve had trouble sleeping well at night, it might be a good idea to skip taking anything to bed with you that produces blue light and see if your sleep doesn’t improve.
When melatonin production is thrown off, it can cause all sorts of things to go wrong in your body and your brain and can even lead to an increased risk of health issues such as depression and cancer. While blue light has always been around – in the sun and in other devices – the real problem comes from continual usage at close range to your eyes in low-light or dark settings.
Overexposure to blue light can also cause eye strain and vision problems, such as dry eye and blurred vision. Because digital technology has become such a big part of life over the last several years, more and more people are showing up at their optometrists’ offices complaining about blurred vision, strained eyes, burning sensations in the eyes, and a whole slew of other problems. And because this has become such a big issue, there is even a name for this condition now – Computer Vision Syndrome.
People who wear corrective lenses may be even more affected by blue light than those who don’t wear glasses or contacts and this is due to the fact that regular corrective lenses are not designed for reading or doing other sorts of activities on computers, tablets, or cell phones.
It’s recommended that people who wear corrective lenses and are experiencing eye strain and other issues after using digital devices should purchase a pair of computer glasses or occupation glasses. These types of glasses are designed specifically for use with computers and will do a better job of protecting your eyes from the damaging effects of extended computer use.
Steps to Take to Reduce Eye Damage
If you want to protect your eyes from damage, there are many things you can do. For starters, limit or completely eliminate the use of smartphones, iPads, computers, and even the TV at night when you’re in bed or even when you’re sitting in a dark room. This alone will help to reduce your risk of developing macular degeneration as well as other eye and vision problems, and it will allow you to get a good night’s sleep.
Limiting your use of these devices that emit blue light during the day is also a good idea. You may cringe at the thought of being without your smartphone for any length of time, but there was a time when there was no such thing as a smartphone and everyone survived just fine without having one glued to their hand all day. If you want to save your eyesight and decrease your chances of vision loss one day in the future, it will be worth it to spend a few hours of the day without your smartphone, computer or any other type of digital device.
If your job requires you to use the computer for long periods of time, be sure to take frequent breaks to give your eyes a rest and consider purchasing a pair of computer glasses as mentioned earlier. You may also want to make sure there is sufficient light in the room and that there are no glares from windows or lighting on your screen as these issues can also cause problems with your vision.
Get regular eye exams. This is probably the most important step you can take to ensuring your eyes stay healthy. Some vision problems are symptomless and can only be detected through a thorough eye exam, so if you’re getting regular eye exams, you can be assured that any problems will be detected early enough for treatments to begin.
The last thing you might want to consider is incorporating easy eye vitamins into your daily diet. If you have vision problems such as farsightedness, nearsightedness, or astigmatism, eye vitamins can help to improve those issues and reduce the strain that is put on your eyes.