Myopia (nearsightedness) affects 40% of North Americans with a staggering growth rate over the past two decades that has qualified the condition as a global epidemic. Myopia is projected to affect 58% of the population by 2050. The recent spike in myopia cases has spurred research into the effect of computer screen exposure, and the blue light digital screens emit, on developing eyes. Learn more about what myopia is, how computer exposure is connected to the condition, and how you can prevent it to protect one of your essential senses.
What Is Myopia?
Myopia is not an eye disease but an eye focusing disorder. It is caused by the inability of the eye to refract or bend light as it should. Instead, light from a distant object forms an image before it reaches the retina. This refractive error blurs distant objects while keeping near objects clear. Myopia occurs when either the eye is too long or the cornea is too steep. Untreated myopia can lead to headaches, eyestrain, and a further decline in vision. Myopia’s growing prevalence has made it a real public health issue for the world to confront.
Computer Screen Exposure Puts You at Risk for Developing Myopia
According to research from the American Optometric Association, those who clock considerable hours working/reading from a computer screen, or engaging in other close visual activities, have been shown to be more likely to develop myopia. This is especially true in children who engage in frequent computer use before the age of 10 years when the eye is still developing. The quantity of time spent in front of digital devices at close range is what ultimately damages eye health. Eye strain, coupled with the blue light of digital devices and LED screens, damages the back of the eye.
While the eye can block many damaging UV light rays, blue light is able to pass straight through the lens and cornea to the retina and light-sensitive nerves, degrading the macular pigment in the eye. This damage leads to macular degeneration and ultimately blindness.
While macular degeneration is commonly seen in adults 40 years and older, health professionals predict that many more of the younger generation will develop macular degeneration at an accelerated rate due to electronic devices. Glaucoma and other retinal degenerative diseases also stem from too much exposure.
Do Blue Light Blocking Glasses Help Prevent Myopia?
72% of our population is unaware of the dangers of blue light despite its prevalence in our world. Other than from the sun, much of the dangers of blue-violet light originate from digital screens. If schoolwork, a job, or hobbies are exposing you to blue light, consult with your eye doctor on how to protect your eye health. Specialized blue light blocking lenses and eyeglasses can offer you protection from dangerous blue light exposure. But they shouldn’t be used as a stand-alone approach. Reducing screen time, dimming your screen’s brightness, and working with a trained optometrist skilled in myopia and prevention can offer you the best strategies for success.
Myopia Treatment and Prevention in Rockville with Visionary Eye Doctors
Myopia control, treatment, and prevention strategies can help slow the progression of myopia and in certain situations prevent it from occurring. A combination of approaches yields the best results and usually involve lifestyle changes, dual-focus contact lenses, Ortho-K corneal reshaping, and low dose atropine drops.
Decrease your household’s risk of worsening myopia by engaging the help of our board-certified optometrist at Visionary Eye Doctors in Rockville, MD. Dr. Hosseini is skilled at myopia treatment and prevention and possesses a chairside manner that is welcoming to both youth and adults alike.
Call Visionary Eye Doctors in Rockville, MD, to schedule a myopia evaluation and consultation for improved myopia management. Call us today at (301) 591-1763.