Blog — Eyes of NM, Albuquerque Optometrists

What damage are we doing to our eyes with technology?

In an age where technology surrounds it we have to ask ourselves, what are we actually doing to our eyes when we are using technology so often? This is a question that we have been asking for several years now with the explosion of use of near devices. After just a few short years we are starting to see some of the consequences but a lot of questions remained unanswered. A few consequences for the eyes have been identified and starting to be studied but I don’t believe we will know the true impact on our eyes for several years to come. Some of the areas that we should be following are listed below:

  1. Blue light– there have been many studies with blue light and what it does to our sleep habits but what is it doing to our eyes. What we do know is that the blue light is at the lower spectrum of visible light and very close to ultra violet light. We know the UV light has damaging effects to the eye causing cataracts and changes to the retina. But is the blue light that we are taking in through technology at a high enough concentration to actually impact the ocular structures? There is a lot of debate about this and we just don’t know at this time. There are blue light blockers that you can put in glasses that may help reduce the amount of blue light getting into the eye. In my opinion, it’s not hurting and it could potentially help so it is worth trying.
  2. Meibomian gland dysfunction– The meibomian glands are glands that line the top and bottom eyelids. They put an oil layer into your tear film and without it your tears evaporate off. When we use the computer or tablet or phone we tend to blink less. When we blink and our eyelids touch together that is how the oil layer gets excreted from the glands. If we don’t blink or don’t blink completely our eyes tend to get more dry. More than that, over time our meibomian glands can die off and this means we have a lot of increased symptoms with less ability to treat the eyes.

Do you know of other potentially harmful side effects to your eyes from technology? Let me know.

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