Many work situations now require staring at computer screens for hours at a time. Concern is that the blue light wavelength projected may be harmful to your eyes, but studies are not conclusive.

Many work situations now require staring at computer screens for hours at a time. Concern is that the blue light wavelength projected may be harmful to your eyes, but studies-so far- are not conclusive.
Photo Credit: Yonhap/Associated Press via CBC

Electronics-screen time: harmful to eyesight? Or not?

Share

Electronic devices now dominate our lives. At work we might spend several hours staring at the screen, at other times we’re staring at mobile phone screens, and laptops and tablet screens. And then of course there are television screens as well.

A new American study by the “Vision Council” says even a couple of hours a day staring at a computer screen can strain your eyes.  Electronic screens give off a particular blue-violet light frequency which some say not only strains the eyes, but may cause damage to both children and older people in the back of the eyes.

The report says some 65 percent of the people surveyed reported “digital” eye strain, with the highest percentage among adults under age 30.

Quoted by Global news, an Edmonton optometrist Dr Sarah Keep says, “It’s something that we see on a daily basis. Patients come in all the time and they have certain symptoms that are linked to computer use,” she explained. “We see anything from dry eye issues, to issues with head and neck pain, blurry vision.”

Computers and screens are everywhere and their use starts at a young age. Some studies suggest too much screen time may be harful to the retinas of children and elderly people. Other studies suggest that may not necessarily be so.
Computers and screens are everywhere and their use starts at a young age. Some studies suggest too much screen time may be harmful to the retinas of children and elderly people. Other studies suggest that may not necessarily be so. © CBC News

Dr Keep suggests the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes of screen time, take 20 seconds to look away at objects about 20 feet (5-6 metres) away in order to relax the eye muscles.

Not all agree

However, a recent British study does not agree that screen time is damaging.

In a Reuters story, John O’Hagan, lead author of the study and head of the Laser and Optical Radiation Dosimetry Group of Public Health England in Chilton, U.K. says, “Even under extreme long-term viewing conditions, none of the low energy light bulbs, computers, tablets and mobile phones we assessed suggested cause for concern for public health”

The report notes that electronic devices and LED lights emit a short wavelength blue light which is known to damage retinas.

One study shows most cases of eye strain are among those under age 30 who spend a great deal of time looking at computer screens, tablets, mobile phone screens, and television
One study shows most cases of eye strain are among those under age 30 who spend a great deal of time looking at computer screens, tablets, mobile phone screens, and television © Steve Pasqualotto/CBC

However, O’Hagen and his team measured the blue light from several devices and found it to be less than that of natural light.

The report also says that even if looking at a screen for hours, it is still unlikely to cause damage to the retina.

Adding another aspect to the debate, another scientist, Meenu light spectrum researcher at the National Tsing Hua University in Hsinchu, Taiwan, told Reuters Health  says that he is still concerned about blue light, especially as more people spend more time on electronic devices.

Many stories on line seem to agree with the position that too much screen time, is likely to cause eye strain and “may” cause damage.

If you are concerned about exposure, a possible solution is getting glasses with blue-light blocking lens filters.

additional information-sources

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Arts and Entertainment, Health, Society

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*