People who spend time ‘glazed’ on their smartphones may be increasing the risk of eye damage, warn British ophthalmologists.
The alert also concerns the excessive use of other devices such as computers, tablets and flat-screen TVs, which can cause long term damage.
The warning stems from a British survey of 2000 participants, indicating that people under 25 checking their phones 32 times a day.
“The blue violet light shining on the screen of the smartphone is potentially dangerous and toxic to the back of their eyes,” says ophthalmologist Andy Hepworth. “So long exposure can potentially damage your eyes.”
He said tests showed that exposure to blue light violet in excess can put us at greater risk of macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.
Eyes fixed on the screen
ophthalmologists also claim that despite the ‘good’ light blue (turquoise) is needed to help regulate the biological clock, it is also believed that a long exposure to blue violet light can affect sleep patterns and mood .
“While we are not sure if there is a direct link between this exposure and eye problems, there is strong evidence that the laboratory could potentially prove it,” said Hepworth.
“It is the combination of do not blink enough and put the device at a shorter distance than you would normally put other objects. This forces the view.”
The survey, commissioned by a group of independent opticians, found that on average, adults spend about 7 hours a day with eyes fixed on a screen, and almost half of them feel anxious when away from your phone.
Statistics also suggest that 43% of people under 25 feel a real irritation, or anxiety when they can not check your phone when you want.
Alana Chinery, 18, is never far from your smartphone.
“I realized that my vision is getting worse after long periods staring at the screens of mobile and computer,” he said. “I’m having more headaches.”
Amanda Saint, who is also an ophthalmologist, says the advice is simple.
“Make regular sight tests, and take frequent breaks when using your computer and mobile devices.”