CAN CELL PHONE SCREENS IMPACT VISION?
Cell phones are by far the most important object to carry EVERYWHERE for a large majority of people. It is the only way we can quickly contact people, take photos, check emails, use the internet, and of course post on social media. Over time, as technology became more and more relevant and useful, people rely more on their cell phones to the point where we can’t live without them. But can this be healthy to the human body? Staring at a glass screen with electrical conductors for minutes to even hours (depending on the person) does not seem like something that can be beneficial to the eye. Once in a while everyone has that fuzzy feeling in their eyes after scrolling through their phone for a while, similar to the feeling of quickly going from a dark room to a really bright one but is that just a temporary feeling that creates no problems? or does it slowly create long term damage to the eyes?
After researching about what this can exactly do to your eyes, Jeff Taylor, M.D., states that one in four eye patients have complained about their eye strain after reading the small font on their cellular device. He also explains how our blinking rate decreases while looking at a phone screen after a period of time and as we squint to look at the screen not only does it affect our eyes, but our neck, shoulders, and facial muscles all tighten. This is called Computer Vision syndrome according to this website. Although the computer vision syndrome does not seem healthy, it is a temporary cause from using your phone. It has yet to be 100% proven that cell phone screens cause visual impairment, but in this experiment a team of researchers from Technion conducted an experiment with microwave radiation, which is extremely similar to the radiation cell phones give off. They took eye lenses from one year old males calves and exposed it to the microwave radiation with one lens from each pair used for control. They exposed the lens to the radiation for a two week period and found two results: one being macroscopic damage affecting the optical quality of the lens, but with time would heal when the radiation stopped. The other result was tiny bubbles forming on the lens, this microscopic damage did not recover even after the radiation ended.
Smart phones give off this bright blue light that is visible at anytime of day, which can bother your eyes at night (especially when tired). This light can keep you awake at night because the screen mimics the light of the sun. This doesn’t necessarily damage our eyes, but it can have a negative impact on our sleep patterns negatively affecting our health. Because of this, the new I phone update allows us to shift our phone screen to “Night Shift”, which gives off a warmer tint rather that the bluish color. This may help us struggle less with falling asleep directly after using our phones, but could this new light option perhaps effect our vision in a negative or positive way? It may be too soon to notice differences in peoples eyes after using it every night since it just came out but it seems it will give a beneficial impact to our eyes.