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    How Damaging is the Backlight of Your Phone?

    It is yet another morning, and your alarm just went off. You roll over your bed and start checking notifications on your phone. After a quick update of what has been going on while you were asleep, you take a shower, breakfast and rush out to work. You pass the time while in traffic and during breaks at work by checking your phone. 

    Most people spend a huge amount of their hours glued to their telephone screens. A report by Nielsen Company showed that an average adult in the US spends about 9 hours on a device. Have you ever wondered what effect this could have on your eyes? If not, you should.

    How Damaging is the Backlight of Your Phone?

    How does the light from your screen devices affect your eyes? 

    The answer is not very clear. Some doctors suggest that the blue light from your gadget may have a detrimental effect on your eyes. Blue light from the phone is usually a concern because unlike monitor screens, the cornea does not filter it out. So, it ends up at the back of your eye. 

    Experts feel that the light may damage the retina, thus causing complications such as macular degeneration. However, there is not much data work to support these findings. Most of the information is from opticians who have observed their patient’s eye health about the time they spend staring at their screens.

    Doctors have found that patients who are regularly using their phones suffer digital eye strain, which is also known as computer syndrome. Symptoms include trouble focusing on one thing, headaches, blurred vision, tired eyes and dry eyes.

    If you think about it, there is a chance that this information is 90 percent true. Take for instance, how it feels to be in a squatting position. After a while, you get tired and are unable to hold it for any longer. This is because your leg muscles are exhausted. The same thing happens to your eyes, where for them to focus; they should be continuously pulled together. After some time, the eye muscles are fatigued, thus causing the strain. 

    What does research say?

    According to scientific research by a group of Korean researchers, the low-intensity light from smartphones kills human retinal cells. The scientists feel that their study will encourage the creation of devices that cause less harm to the eye. 

    From previous research, scientists had established that blue light of short wavelengths is damaging to the retina cells. It has a layer of cells that are highly sensitive. Blue light is known to produce reactive oxygen species like superoxide radicals inside the retina cells, which can make the cells to die. 

    With the increasing shift of using smartphones, television and laptops, the Korean researchers decided to find out how the blue light from phones affects the eyes. They discovered that this light doubles the rate of death of the retinal cells. 

    The study suggests that we should adjust the screen brightness to be no brighter than the optimum levels required to work. At the same time, there is a need for in vivo experiments for this work to be entirely applicable for human beings. 

    Play-Safe Strategies for Protecting Your Eyes:

    1.  Give your eyes a break:

    If you require using the screen for a long time use the 20/20/20 rule. The idea is to take your eyes off the screen after 20 minutes, for 20 seconds and stare at anything that is 20 feet away. You can look out a window or across your office. For you to make this idea a habit, you should consider setting the alarm on your phone that goes off after every 20 minutes. 

    As silly as this may sound, remember to blink often. When you concentrate, you reduce your blink rate, which makes tears from the surface of the eye to evaporate, thus resulting in a blurry vision, pain, redness and eye irritation. 

    2.  Get some blue-light blocking lenses:

    You may have heard about blublocker sunglasses, which filter out blue light since they have been around for a while. If you haven’t considered getting a pair, it may be because they look a little geeky. Luckily, other brands have developed stylish glasses that accomplish the same task without making you look funny. So, you should consider getting a nice pair of these glasses so that you can block blue light from entering your retina. 

    The right pair of spectacles will help minimize digital eye strain. As you get older, your ability to see up-close might reduce. As such, consider getting a pair of glasses to help you view the computer screen better, which might have greater or less strength than the specs you use to read magazines and books. 

    3.  Consider downloading a light reducing app:

    Many apps can cut the blue light on your devices. Some even allow you to use night mode on your smartphone. Remember to turn your devices off an hour before bedtime. This will deal with the temptation of popping in for some pre-slumber online activity. Instead, go for a pre-sleep ritual that is less stimulating, such as reading a book and listening to music. 

    How damaging is the backlight of your phone? Research suggests that it can be quite harmful. Thankfully, there is so much you can do avert these effects. 

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