100,000 Americans Will Be Legally Blinded By Screens and LED Lights, Optometrist Says

October 10, 2017 at 5:13 am




A leading optometrist estimates up to 100,000 American children and adults will become legally blind due to blue light damage over the next couple of decades

Opometrist Sophia Barnes of VisionCorner.com recommends no screen time for children under 5, limited screen time for adults, and screen shields and protective glasses when screen time is necessary.

 




Blue light is the highest frequency (shortest wavelength) light on the light spectrum. It is even higher energy than UV or ultra violet light and can be far more damaging.

“It is the most harmful wavelength to the retina and it’s causing macular degeneration,” Barnes says.

Unfortunately blue light is bombarding us from all angles – computers, tablets, phones, TV screens and  fluorescent and LED lights.

Blue light is present in sunlight and is necessary in limited amounts during the daytime to boost alertness, memory, cognitive function and mood, regulate circadian rhythms and prevent nearsightedness.

You’re actually exposing yourself to a lot more blue light sitting in the sun than in front of a screen, but that light is balanced with all the other wavelengths (colors) of light,

And… nobody stares at the sun (except at sunrise and sunset). We stare directly at our screens for long periods of time and are typically only a foot or two away from them.




Harm

Studies shows exposure to too much blue light can lead to eyestrain, retinal damage, and macular degeneration.

Also, the European Commission is researching claims that artificial light with a strong blue-light component is associated with immune system disorders, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and breast cancer.

Children’s eyes absorb  more blue light than adults’

“The population most at risk are children under age 5 with their large pupils and pristine lenses,” Barnes said.

The American Pediatric Association says no child under 2 should be on any computer device. Barnes thinks that age should be extended to age 5.

“In Japan the problem has already been solved,” Barnes said. “Most blue light sources there have filters. We are about three years behind.”




What to do

1. Limit screen time – Or at least take frequent breaks to give your eyes a rest.

2. Screen shields/filters – Put blue-light filtering screen protectors blue-light filtering screen protectors on all of your computer devices.

3. Blue-light-blocking glasses – Glasses with bright yellow or orange lenses that block as much blue light as possible.

I bought a pair of these Uvex glasses, which block 98% of blue light for $9:

and these Cyxus glasses that claim to block 99 % of blue-light for $20:

The cheaper ones actually work better and got the best rating on ConsumerReports.com, but the other ones are obviously more stylish 😉

Just make sure they are bright or dark yellow, not clearish.

Barnes recommends using both the screen shields and glasses simultaneously, for cumulative effect. The screen protectors typically only block about 60 percent on their own.

I can’t find any info on what percentage of blue light is reduced by apps like Night Shift or Flux, so I wouldn’t trust them without wearing glasses in conjunction.

She also recommends finding an eye doctor that has the blue-light-damage detecting Easy Scan on EasyScanTest.com. Blue light damage is reversible if caught in time, she says.