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Research shows that digital devices damage our eyes

Do your eyes ache a lot after staring at your tablet or smartphone? It’s not just about the stress of looking at a small screen. It could be a sign of irreversible damage to your eyes – cellular damage that can lead to blindness

We’ve all heard that we shouldn’t stare too long at our screens, but the dull blue glow from tablets and Cell phones are really dangerous? Not only is the light emitted from our digital devices harmful, according to a new study, but prolonged exposure can stimulate macular degeneration, a condition that can lead to blindness.

More than a quarter of the world’s population spends at least seven hours a day on a smartphone.[1] Our total media exposure, including computers, tablets and televisions, exceeded twelve hours a day.[2] This alarming rise in screen use – and it’s increasing every year – has prompted researchers to question the effects of this trend on eye health.

We have known since the 1950s that blue light is capable of disturbing the delicate light balance of light-sensitive life forms, but science is only just beginning to recognize how overexposure to illuminated screens affects the human being. Maintain synchronization Circadian rhythms “Important for health and well-being,” says Dieter Koons, director of the Sleep Research and Clinical Chronobiology Group. “Asynchronous circadian rhythms may play a role in the development of various oncological diseases, diabetes, obesity and depression.”[3]

Recent research conducted by University of Toledo scientists and published in Scientific Reports,[4] Adds a layer to discuss the damage that can happen when we don’t put aside glowing screens. The study is titledBlue light triggered the retina to intercept cellular signals, “Examined a unique spectrum of light called blue light, the wavelength on the visible Electromagnetic The spectrum that has the most power to disrupt our circadian rhythms.

According to researchers, the blue light emitted by cell phones, laptops and other digital devices damages vision by stimulating the formation of toxic particles in the cells of the sensitive eye. The retina, or Retinaldehyde, is a form of Vitamin A And the main molecule involved in vision, which is responsible for converting the energy in the photons of light into electrical impulses in the retina.[5] While the cornea and lens of the eye are transparent to blue light, this light spectrum excites retinal particles, producing secondary condensation called lipofuscins: non-dissolving phototoxic substances that cause macular degeneration. This “exciting blue retina light” causes irreversible changes in the plasma membrane of the eye, disrupting its function and causing oxidative damage in the membrane core. Simply put, shining blue light on the retina kills the photoreceptor cells.

What makes this discovery so alarming for eye health is that once they die, these cells do not regenerate. Adults over the age of 50, with a weakened immune system, are most at risk of dramatically losing sight due to the death of these non-regenerative cells. Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the United States and is estimated to affect nearly two million people over the age of 40.[6]

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According to Dr. Ajith Karunaratne, one of the contributing researchers and assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Toledo, “we are constantly exposed to blue light and the cornea and lens of the eye cannot block or reflect it.” What we can do, according to Dr. Karunaratne, is wear sunglasses that block UV rays and blue light. The focus of this research is to avoid the excessive use of digital devices. While everyone should define what “overuse” is, listen to your body and know when it will suffice. Eye pain HeadacheBlurred vision are all signs that you may be suffering from excessive exposure to blue light.

For many people, the use of digital devices is not optional. Obviously there is a need to protect our eyes, but what can we do besides quitting our jobs, dumping our devices, and moving to the countryside?

How to support your eyes naturally

According to experts at the Optometric Association of America, computer vision syndrome, or digital eye strain, refers to “a group of eye and vision problems resulting from prolonged use of a computer, tablet, e-reader, and cell phone.” This type of eyestrain causes varying levels of discomfort among individuals who use digital devices, with a measure of discomfort closely related to the length of use each day. With so many modern jobs that require the use of computers and devices, even during times of rest, it is not surprising that the average American worker spends up to seven hours per day on a computer. [7] Add to that, the number of times we check phones, Facebook accounts, personal email, etc. daily, and it’s safe to say that many Americans spend more time looking at screens every day than looking at the outside world.

There are ways to protect your eyes that don’t require giving up your lifestyle. For starters, the Optical Association of America recommends a “20-20-20 rule”: Take a 20-second break from the screen to watch something 20 feet away, every 20 minutes.[8] Place screens at a reasonable distance from your eyes; An arm’s length and 4-5 inches below eye level is considered a safe distance. Zoom in and zoom in to see clearly, instead of bringing devices closer to your eyes. Make sure your computer room is well lit and avoid staring at your phone or tablet while you are in the dark, such as lying in bed with the lights off. When blue light is the primary wavelength that penetrates the eye, it can be more harmful.[9]

Ophthalmologists basically agree that some deterioration in the central field of vision is normal as we age, which is why wearing “readers” is common among people over the age of 40. However, there is There are many things we can do to prevent and even reverse macular degeneration. As with many age-related health issues, nutrition is one of our best all-around defense.

No matter how much nutrient-rich foods we consume, we only benefit to the extent that our bodies can absorb and use them. Therefore, improving the health of your gut bacteria is a prerequisite for reversing vitamin-based deficiencies that can impair eyesight. Probiotics And an organic, product-rich diet is vital for healthy gut flora, which can It helps ward off all kinds of physical ailments, Including macular degeneration.

Increasing the consumption of certain foods can help give the eyes a natural boost. CarotenoidsThe organic nutrients that give carrots their orange color, are also the reason carrots are known to be an eye-health wealth. Carotenoids nourish the macula, which is the center of the retina and responsible for the most intense vision. Eating a diet rich in beta-carotene supports the eyes by providing abundant carotenoids, and so on Carrots don’t have to be orange To get this benefit! Other vitamins known to support eye health include vitamins A and C, and zinc, which are found abundantly in green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, and citrus fruits.

Another important nutrient for eye health is Cholesterol. Recent genetic studies have shown that having multiple cholesterol-related genes increases risk factors for age-related macular degeneration.[10] Fish oil and niacin supplements can help achieve A. A healthy cholesterol balanceWhich is essential to ensure the spot gets the benefits of improved nutrition.[11] Consume a diet Low in polyunsaturated fats and rich in omega-3 fatty acids It helps the body maintain blood lipids and is important for proper visual development and retinal function. Omega-3s can improve vision by strengthening the nerves in the eyes.[12]

Consider blanket alternatives to Statin drugs. The The eye damaging effects of statins It may not be advertised well, but statin drug users have been shown to have a 48% higher risk of pathological changes to the lens of the eye (nuclear sclerosis and cortical cataracts) associated with eye lens darkening.

Finally, do the things necessary to maintain overall eye health, such as blinking often, which naturally softens and rejuvenates the eyes, and removes dust and particles. Keep your appliances clean and free from smudges and dust that can add to glare. Visit your eye doctor annually, and make sure you have up-to-date prescription lenses, if needed. Inquire about specialized eyeglasses that can reduce glare from computer screens, and provide a layer of protection between the retina and blue light.

If you can’t avoid hours of spending hours in front of a screen, you can at least naturally support your eye health. By following a healthy diet and practicing good personal use habits, you can reduce harm and enjoy using your digital devices.

Learn more about evidence-based natural interventions Macular degenerationUse the GreenMedInfo.com research dashboard:


References

[1] https://www.statista.com/statistics/781692/ worldwide-daily-time-spent-on-smartphone/

[2] https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/reports/2017/the-nielsen-total-audience-q2-2017.html

[3] Holzmann DC. What is in the color? The unique health effects of blue light. Environmental health perspectives. 2010; 118 (1): A22-A27.

[4] Cason Ratnaik, John L Payton, O. Harshana Lacalam, Ajith Karunaratne. Blue light triggered the retina to intercept cellular signals. Scientific Reports, Volume 8, July 05, 2018; Article number: 10207.

[5] https://www.ch.ic.ac.uk/vchemlib/mim/bristol/retinal/retinal_text.htm

[6] https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/basics/ced/index.html

[7] https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/protecting-your-vision/computer-vision-syndrome?sso=y

[8] IBID

[9] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/smartphones-blue-light-blindness-why-eyesight-macular-degeneration-a8485846.html

[10] Pikuleva IA, Curcio CA. Retinal Cholesterol: The Best Is Yet To Come. Advances in retina and eye research. 2014; 0: 64-89. Doi: 10.1016 / j.preteyeres.2014.03.002.

[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC305368/

[12] https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/diet-and-nutrition?sso=y

DisclaimerThis article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of GreenMedInfo or its employees.

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