What’s the last thing you do before going to bed and the first on waking up? A globally accepted answer in today’s world is “checking the phone” whether it’s sending an important email, mindless internet browsing, scrolling Instagram and so on. It’s quite normal to eye our phones the moment we get the chance.
No doubt, digital evolution brought amazing technological advancements in form of drones, keyless car entry, holographic conversation (rare but real) and much more but, all have a certain drawback which couldn’t be ignored. Smartphone is an ultimate entertainment device and a statistical survey revealed that 46% Americans think they can’t live without their phones.
Whether its entertainment, socialisation, organisation or any other task, we all rely only on our phones since they’re smart enough to perform almost everything with a simple swipe and tap. And besides cutting us from the charm of meeting in person, the universal habit has been wreaking havoc on our eyes in unimaginable ways.
Effect of screen time on the eyes
When our eyes focus on something or anything too close, even objects other than any smart device, their muscles contract. This contraction however can be normal and healthy for a short period but habitual and prolonged behaviour can risk in developing dry eye syndrome and many other severe vision anomalies.
Simply imagine doing low squats and keeping the position for the same amount of time as you would’ve when using a digital device. It’s obvious of the muscles to feel tired, cramped and give up in a short time. Eye muscles acts in a similar manner during prolonged focus or keeping a steady gaze closely and for long.
That said; most of us are accustomed to glue our eyes to the digital mobile screens for many hours in a day. While headaches, sore and dry eyes are only initial aftermath of this over exposure, resuming the habit can compromise vision and even raise the risk of more severe eye diseases. Most common reason of this is the blue light emitted from digital devices including LED lights, smartphones, laptops and desktops.
A look at blue light
Blue light; like ultraviolet is visible to human eyes only when seen against a certain light spectrum under a controlled setting. The spectrum has a range of colours with different wavelengths and lights having a shorter wavelength are more intense and harmful; that goes for blue light.
But it isn’t all that bad as this blue light can also fulfil certain necessities of our bodies. Sun also emits natural blue light which when composed with air molecules gives the sky its colour and daily exposure to a certain amount of time maintains circadian rhythm of our body.
Naturally produced blue light produces melatonin in our body which allow us to fall asleep whereas artificial blue light produced by digital devices hampers our sleep as well as melanoma generation.
Effect on the eyes
Due to shorter wavelength, blue light flickers more than longer and thus dangerous to the eyes. The glare can cause headache and eyestrain so the longer you’re exposed, more harmful would be the effect on your eyes with dry eye syndrome being the very initial and common.