A long time ago we told children that watching too much television would give them square eyes. It turns out that statement isn’t as far from the truth as we initially thought. Too much screen time won’t change the shape of your eyes, but it can irreversibly damage them.
Newer technologies such as TVs, computer screens, laptops, tablets and smartphones all emit blue light. Too much blue light can have disastrous effects on any of our cells, but it can severely affect our vision.
Blue light is also present in daylight, but by absorbing it during the day, we help set our circadian rhythms (awake during the day, asleep during the night). If you want to get a good night’s sleep, removing as much artificial light as possible may help.
Exposing our eyes to ever more blue light through the overuse of technology, we may be giving ourselves vision problems in later years. Even a little bit of screen time could be doing us damage.
A recent study looked at the mechanism between blue light and macular degeneration. Basically, blue light kills particular cells in your eyes that are necessary for eyesight. And these cells don’t regenerate, so once they’re gone they never coming back.
The good news is that a particular form of Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) helps protect these cells. We don’t always have enough of this form of Vitamin E, and the damage from blue light is more present as we age.
As screens become ever more present in our lives, all we can do limit our time in front of them to sensible doses.
Dr Carmen Hunwardsen owns and operates Carmen’s Spinal Care, a busy North Brisbane chiropractic clinic in Everton Hills.