The Use of Cell Phone in the Dark: Watch your Vision!

Scientists have uncovered that blue light emission from your smart phone and laptop screens may seem harmless but may be toxic to the eyes and causing macular degeneration, a leading cause of vision loss in the US.

Although macular degeneration occurs in folks > 60 years old, experts suspect this may come sooner with the increased use of blue light technologies.

Let’s check the numbers:

According to the Bright Focus Foundation, as many as 11 million people in the U.S. currently have some form of age-related macular degeneration. This number is expected to reach 22 million by 2050.

Worldwide, they expect it to affect almost 288 million people by 2040.

How does blue light cause eye damage?

On the light spectrum, blue light has a shorter wavelength, and thus carries more energy than red, yellow or green light. That extra energy (more intense in the dark) is why blue light can be bad for your eyes.

Now, another molecule in your retinas normally acts as an antioxidant to prevent eye cells from dying. But the constant bombardment of blue light may overwhelm the antioxidant effect and may very well speed up someone's chances of developing macular degeneration.

How can this be prevented?

  1. Minimize the use of smart phone and mobile devices in the dark.
  2. You may consider wearing sunglasses and other eyewear that's designed to filter out blue light.

REFS.

Ratnayake K, Payton JL, Lakmal OH, Karunarathne A. Sci Rep. 2018 ; 8(1):10207.

Zhao ZC, Zhou Y, Tan G, Li J. Int J Ophthalmol. 2018; 11(12): 1999–2003.

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DeArk Medical Center, located in Charlotte, North Carolina, is a Primary Care Internal Medicine clinic for ages 10 and older. Led by William Iyamu, MD, Ph.D., we provide comprehensive healthcare services including management of chronic diseases such as Hypertension, Diabetes, weight loss, High Cholesterol, Opioid abuse and diagnosis/treatment of acute illness, and wellness services (complete physical exams, immunizations, cancer screenings, and lifestyle modifications. If you have any concerns or questions regarding your health, do not hesitate to contact us at 980-888-8011 or on the web at: www.dearkmedicalcenter.com

 
Author
E. William Iyamu, MD, PHD E. William Iyamu, MD, PHD, of DeArk Medical Center is a board-certified internal medicine doctor. He received his Medical Training at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, KS in 2008 and then completed his Internal Medicine Internship at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, NE, followed by Internal Medicine Residency Training at Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN. He then served as Chief Medical Resident at Meharry Medical College for one year and received additional training in Hematology/Oncology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR. He practiced as a Hospitalist for several years, including his position as a staff physician at The Carolinas Healthcare Systems. Dr. Iyamu has expertise in preventative health care and in the management of medically complex patient including, but not limited to, those with hypertension, heart disease, chronic lung disease, opioid used disorder and diabetes. His is married with children.

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