CNN reports that Americans spend over 10 hours of screen time. Unfortunately, the bright screen from flat TVs, tablets, and mobile devices are causing vision impairment.
There are studies showing the dangers of blue light to the eyes. The Cincinnati Eye Institute conducted a study on blue light dangers, and here’s the report;
Global Epidemic of Blindness
You’ve read it right. Recently, the Daily Mail reports about damaging effects of blue light to the retinas. Again, this blue light comes from everyday devices used by most people including kids.
One tip experts suggested to avoid the destructive effect of blue light is to look away from your cellphone, tablet, or PC. Looking as far as 20 feet every 20 minutes can help save your vision. This is in addition to using blue light filters.
Blue Light Changes Mood
The bright blue light from common devices, not just a danger to deteriorate eyesight, but also changes in mood. A study in Japan proves this another unhealthy side-effect in spending longer hours in front of screens.
Among the side effects include mood changes, sleep loss, anxiety, and erratic behavior.
In terms of blue light disturbing the body’s circadian rhythm, it has been proven bad as Scientific American reports.
The circadian rhythm is the body’s internal or biological clock. It helps us maintain the proper cycle of sleep and allowing us to achieve quality sleep every night.
How Much Time Is Safe Spending on Screens?
The American Academy of Pediatrics provides recommendation on screen time especially for kids.
Infants 18 months and younger – No screen time allowed. This means zero screen time.
Children 2 to 5 years old – At this age range, they should be limited to 1 hour per day. Right now, what’s your limit given to your children at this age range?
6 years and older – There is no specific guidelines but parents are advised to limit screen time. How to achieve this limit? Well, make screen time the last priority. Let your kids focus on school works, homework, physical and social activities and sleep. All these can add up to 12 hours.
The remaining time prior to retiring at night can be used for screens. However, don’t allow your kids in front of the screen until late at night. Limit their screen time 1 hour prior to sleeping.
More AAP’s Tips To Optimizing Screen Time For Kids
When limiting children’s screen time, the parents should serve as models. In one study1, parents who use less screen time are more likely to imposed limits on their children.
Why Is Blue Light Harmful?
Now that we know the harmful effects of blue light, let us quickly explore how it affects the eyes? Here’s a quick visual explanation by HB Optical Laboratories.
How To Protect Yourself From Blue Light Danger?
There are no specific guidelines for adults. In that study of parents using less screen time, the recommended screen time for children is also applicable for adults.
However, what if your job requires sitting in front of a computer monitor? Is there anything you can do to (at least) minimize the health risks due to blue light?
Fortunately, there are things you can do such as;
- Use blue light filters on your computer monitor.
- Use blue light filters on your smart phone display.
- Replace your monitor or smart phone with a built-in blue light filter.
- Avoid working in a dark/dim environment.
- Take time to look away from your computer monitor every 20 minutes.
- Whenever possible, have a window within your workplace and look outside every now and then while working in front of a computer monitor.
- Wear blue light blocking glasses.
Take care of your eyes against the danger of blue light…especially the kids.
A Healthy Diet Maintains Eye Health
Foods are medicines. However, today not every food available are appropriate for good health. For instance, highly refined products like refined sugar and carbs are bad.
On the other hand, whole foods are good and these are the foods our body needs. When it comes to eye health, make sure you include green leafy vegetables in your diet. The New York State Department of Health listed foods that are good for your eye health.
Keep in mind, our bodies are comprised of a system of systems working in perfect harmony. As long as you provide these systems with proper raw materials, they will always work in harmony. The good news, it’s that difficult. All that is required is to engage in healthy lifestyle practices.