Millions of Brits risk speeding up the ageing process of their eyes due to excessive time in front of mobile phones, tablets and computer screens, warn health experts at Optical Express
Hours browsing social media and surfing the web could be causing the early development of age-related macular degeneration, as almost 1 in 4 Brits spend more than 10 hours a day in front of the screen.
Research published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity**, a leading American medical journal found that blue light decreased the amount of carotenoids in our bodies leaving us more susceptible to harmful UVA rays.
Stephen Hannan, Clinical Services Director at Optical Express, said: “The blue light emitted from mobile phone, tablet and computer screens can potentially be harmful to our eyes. Long periods of exposure to blue light, aka High Energy Visibility Light or HEVL, reduces the amount of UVA and UVB fighting carotenoids in the skin and eyes, leaving us more vulnerable to the sun’s rays.
“For many Brits, limiting screen time can be difficult as their jobs involve using technology and sitting in front of a computer screen for hours on end. Brits should try and reduce their use of technology when it isn’t necessary, and break the habit of checking phones while in bed.
“Brits can also boost the amount of naturally occurring carotenoids and antioxidants, the organic pigments which protect against blue light damage, by eating more fruits and vegetables such as carrots, peppers and leafy greens.”
The macular pigment in our eyes is designed to filter UV light, to avoid damage to the sensitive cells of the fovea, a small pit located in the centre of the macula which is responsible for clear central vision. Unprotected sun exposure can speed up the process resulting in macular degeneration, which occurs when the cells in the retina are damaged and therefore deteriorate. This can cause impaired vision and even result in blindness in the long-term.