Backlit devices including computers, TVs, tablets, and smartphones have become an essential part of our lives. Which means if you’re like most folks, you spend a good portion of your day staring at electronic screens.
But while all this technology has revolutionized the way we live, it’s come at a cost. Because now scientists are saying, all that exposure is beginning to take a toll.
A recent study linked the blue light emitted by your smartphone with an increased risk for macular degeneration. This incurable eye disease can eventually lead to blindness.
Researchers at the University of Toledo demonstrated that blue light activates molecules that are essentially poisonous to your eyes. The damaging particles stimulate one of the most sensitive parts of your eye, the light-sensitive cells where macular degeneration occurs.
Occasional exposure to blue light isn’t an issue. But most of us are bombarded with blue light all day long. Which means we’re at risk.
Protect your sight from dangerous blue light
The good news is we CAN reduce our risks by starting with those smartphones.
Don’t worry. I’m not going to ask you to give up your phone. Because let’s be honest, none of us are likely to do that anyway.
But there’s an easy trick to cut back on the blue light.
- Tap the settings button on your phone and look for the menu where you can change your display settings.
- Turn on the blue light filter (in some phones it might be called “night light”).
This setting will give the light on your phone a slight amber cast. In fact, your device might already be making this switch in the evening automatically. But you can customize the timing to make it stay on all the time.
5 sight-saving tricks which go beyond blue light
And now that you’ve eliminated one of the biggest threats to your eyesight don’t stop there. Following are five more simple changes you can make to help protect your vision.
Turns out even your eyes benefit when you get up and get moving more. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, getting 30 minutes of exercise a day can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration by as much as 70 percent.
2. Follow the 20-20-20 rule:
The National Eye Association recommends keeping track of 20-20-20. For every 20 minutes spent doing close work…. think reading, needlepoint, puzzles or string at a computer screen… take 20 seconds and look at something entirely different that’s about 20 feet away.
This simple trick refocuses your eyes and gives the muscles a chance to stretch and relax, which helps keep them healthy.
3. Wear the right glasses:
If you spend a lot of time online or staring at backlit screens invest in a pair of blue-blocking computer glasses. They will protect your eyes from the blue light. And as a bonus, you’ll likely find it easier to sleep at night.
But blue light isn’t the only light that can damage your eyes. UVA and UVB rays are also harmful. Whenever you’re outside during the day, make sure you’re wearing sunglasses. And yes, that includes cloudy days. Because if it’s light out, those damaging rays are getting through the cloud cover. Look for a pair that blocks 100 percent of UV rays.
4. But don’t skip the sun:
A study out of the University of Buffalo linked low levels of vitamin D with higher rates of age-related macular degeneration. You can get some vitamin D from certain foods such as eggs, cheese, and wild-caught fatty fish. But remember it’s called “the sunshine vitamin” for a reason. So go ahead and get outdoors for 15 to 20 minutes every day. Just don’t forget the sunglasses.
5. See the eye doc:
Just like any other health condition, the sooner you can catch a problem with your eyes, the easier it is to manage. Focus on keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol in the healthy range, because they can affect your eyes as well as your heart. And have a thorough eye exam at least every two years.
Technology has improved our lives in countless ways. But don’t let blue light rob you of your vision and your independence. Make these changes today to save your sight for years to come.
Click here to learn about 5 must have supplements to protect your vision.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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