Americans spend up to 11 hours a day in front of a digital screen, but our commitment to our phones and laptops is having unwanted effects on our eyes, a new study from peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports found.
Researchers at the University of Toledo in Ohio found that our blue-tinted screens are wrecking our eyes and accelerating our risk of blindness.
Our digital screens are steadily blinding us
The researchers found that prolonged exposure to the 445-nanometer shortwave we see on our electronic devices called “blue light” can cause permanent damage to our eyes. The blue light triggers the creation of poisonous chemical molecules in our eyes’ photoreceptor cells.
“It’s toxic. If you shine blue light on retinal, the retinal kills photoreceptor cells,” Kasun Ratnayake, one of the study’s authors, said. “Photoreceptor cells do not regenerate in the eye. When they’re dead, they’re dead for good.” When photoreceptor cells get killed, it can increase our risk of age-related macular degeneration, an incurable eye disease.
Blue light can not only blind you, it can also keep you up at night. Blue light disrupts our sleep schedules by convincing our brains it is morning when it is night. As you watch your televisions, phones and laptop screens, these unwanted side effects are a reminder to give yourself breaks to look away.