A Palmerston North optometrist is warning that light emitted from smartphones, tablets and computers could be putting users at risk of early onset macular degeneration.
Harmful 'blue-violet' light is emitted from the LED screens of devices such as smartphones and tablets, and close proximity to the light makes the risk of damage worse, as well as contributing to eye fatigue, according to optometrist Brian Naylor, of Visique Naylor Palmer.
He said the blue light damage was of growing concern as people spent more time on digital devices while working and studying, and children were exposed at an early age to screens.
"Recent figures show that a typical multiscreen user in New Zealand is clocking up just under seven hours of screen time daily, which includes laptops, TV and smartphones," Naylor said.
"All of these emit significant amounts of blue-violet light, which is the highest-energy wavelength of visible light, and because of that can penetrate through the eyes' natural filters, all the way to the back of the eye."
The effects of blue light are believed to be cumulative, and computers are the worst culprits, closely followed by tablets and smartphones.
"Over-exposure to blue light can cause headaches, dry eyes, and difficulty sleeping in the short term, and there are potential longer-term effects that we are also worried about."
Naylor said, in particular, blue-violet light was a proven risk factor of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), along with genetic factors, smoking and diet.
He recommended that those who spent long periods of time on computers, tablets and smartphones, think about protection, including lenses specially designed to help filter blue light.
Reducing time spent on devices wherever possible would also help.
Source : http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/67962187/Optometrist-warns-screen-use-may-cause-early-macular-degeneration