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Macular Degeneration under 35: As a fulltime blogger, I stare at my computer screen for hours on end every day. Previously, I didn’t know just how harmful the blue light from computer screens was. I didn’t know that I should I have been wearing blue light glasses all this time.
Unfortunately, I know now. I am not even 35, yet according to my eye doctor, I have eye damage of a 70 year old. Blue light exposure has given me Macular Degeneration in both eyes.
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Macular Degeneration And Blue Light
At a recent routine eye exam my eye doctor discovered several white dots in the inside of my eyeballs.
After referring me to further tests at a specialist it was diagnosed as Macular Degeneration.
A serious eye damage condition caused by exposure to blue light, that is the leading cause of blindness in the United States.
People in their 60s are commonly diagnosed with it, but because of our digital age of prolonged screentime, it is becoming more and more common in young people.
Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of severe, irreversible vision loss in people over age 60. It occurs when the small central portion of the retina, known as the macula, deteriorates. Due to the harmful blue light from digital devices, this condition is affecting more young people than ever before.
What Is Macular Degeneration?
Macular Degeneration is an eye condition that is caused by the harmful blue light from computers, cell phones, and the sun.
It can also be genetic and passed down through family genes.
We stare at our screens every day, and the blue light emitted is causing serious problems for our eyeballs.
It is killing cells inside our eyes and causing irreversible damage.
“We are being exposed to blue light continuously, and the eye’s cornea and lens cannot block or reflect it,”
Dr. Ajith Karunarathne, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at The University of Toledo, said.
“It’s no secret that blue light harms our vision by damaging the eye’s retina.”
What Is Blue Light?
Blue light waves are the shortest highest energy wavelengths, that penetrate right into our retinas (the inner lining of the back of the eye).
Our eyes can’t process this light very well, and prolonged exposure to it (staring at your phone and computer every day) can cause serious damage, and vision loss.
In addition to blue light damaging light cells within our eyes, it also causes digital eye strain.
Digital eye strain:
- Dry eyes
- Eye fatigue
- Blurred vision
- Physical and mental fatigue
If you work on your computer for long hours on end like I do, you probably are familiar with at least a few of these issues.
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What You Can Do To Prevent Blue Light Exposure
1. Get Your Eyes Checked Regularly By An Optometrist
If your eye doctor notices something, she can refer you to a specialist right away.
2. Wear Blue Light Glasses (Glasses With Blue Light Blocking Lenses)
Research has shown that wearing blue light glasses with lenses that block blue light protect eyes and prevent eye damage significantly.
If you wear prescription glasses, get blue light blocking lenses in them.
If you don’t need prescription glasses, get a pair of blue light glasses that have non-prescription blue light blocking lenses in them.
Wear them anytime you use your phone or computer.
Here are some stylish non-perscription blue light glasses you can get on Amazon:
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They ship free both ways too.
Although Warby Parker doesn’t offer blue-light blocking lenses (at the time of writing this), you can purchase their frames with ‘demo lenses.’
Warby Parker‘s demo lenses pop out, so you can take the frames to your local optometrist who can fit them with blue light blocking lenses.
That’s what I did!
I got the Caspar glasses from Warby Parker, and am having blue light lenses put in them.
Once I get them back from being fitted for blue light lenses I will post a photo wearing them here.
My doctor also recommended that I protect my toddler’s eyes with blue light glasses.
My son loves using my laptop to watch cartoons, so I bought a pair of non-prescription blue light glasses for him from Zenni kids.
These are the blue light glasses I got for my toddler, they were very affordable.
They have little bands that help them stay on, which is great!
In addition to wearing blue light glasses indoors, always wear sunglasses outside, all year round.
3. Dim Your Screens & Increase The Text Size
Turn the brightness on your screens down, especially when you are in a dark room.
You can put a blue light blocking screen on all of your devices, too.
When you are reading text on your screen, increase the text size or zoom in as large as you can go.
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4. Take A Vitamin For Ocular Health
My eye doctor recommended that I start taking these Vitalux vitamins two times a day.
They are shown to delay the progression of Age-Related Macular Degeneration.
Always consult your doctor before taking any vitamins or medication.
5. Limit Your Screen Time And Take Breaks
This one is an obvious one.
Yet it needs to be mentioned because I know how this one gets forgotten.
I can easily work on my laptop for 12 hours straight without taking a break.
I know how when you are in the zone, it’s hard to stop.
But we need to take breaks.
We need to take care of our eyes.
They are the only ones we’ve got!
Protecting Your Eyes From Blue Light Damage
Remember to take breaks from your screens often, and get your eyes checked regularly.
And most importantly, wear protective blue light glasses every day.
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