With winter in full swing, many people are curling up on their couches to binge the latest Netflix shows. After all, there’s always something new to watch every season, with so many streaming platforms popping up. All this content is encouraging a binge-watching culture across the board.
Approximately 79 percent of individuals over 16 binge-watch shows and movies here in the UK. Similarly, more than 60 percent of American teenagers also binge shows often.
Unfortunately, this can cause binge-watching side effects, such as a detrimental impact on eye health. This is evident from the increasing number of patients with eye problems and similar binge-watching patterns.
Here’s what you should know.
How Does Binge-Watching Damage Eye Health?
Have you ever had dark circles, puffy eyes, and a lack of energy when you watch too much content on Netflix? If the answer is yes, this article is for you.
Binge-watching causes major problems to eye health in two main ways. The first is constantly staring at the screen, and the second is the light it emits.
Here’s what these can do to an individual’s eye health.
You Can Get Computer Vision Syndrome from Binge Watching
Also referred to as digital eye strain, computer vision syndrome is a group of eye and vision-related problems that are a binge-watching side effect. It occurs when an individual has prolonged exposure to screens.
Despite its name, the condition can occur from staring at any screen for longer periods. These can include phones, tablets, e-readers, and TV screens. The syndrome can affect anyone who binge-watches shows regardless of their device.
Computer vision syndrome can result in various eye problems that include:
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Dry eyes
- Eye strain
- Itchy or red eyes
- Tired or fatigued eyes
- Pain in the neck and shoulders
Though you might be wondering what causes the problem in the first place.
Unfortunately, the high visual demands of watching a digital screen can increase the risk of developing vision-related issues. It’s a lot more arduous to look at a screen than it is to look at printed text. This means that it can be challenging to focus when staring at a screen for extended periods. Couple this with the fact that most screens cause glares, and it can be incredibly difficult for an individual to maintain focus.
Another major reason computer vision syndrome can occur is the blue light emission from screens.
Blue Light Emission from Screens and Eye Health
Blue light, also known as high-energy visible (HEV) light, is made from electromagnetic radiation. Several colours in the light spectrum, known as ROY G BIV, form the white light of the sun. Each one in the spectrum has different wavelengths and energy levels. We can interpret and distinguish the hues if they have a shorter wavelength and higher energy production. This includes blue light.
The main source of this light is the sun. However, it is also emitted from artificial lighting sources, such as electronic devices. So, many are exposed to blue light for extended periods as a binge-watching side effect. So, how does it cause problems like computer vision syndrome?
Due to its concise wavelengths, many researchers have linked blue light to eye damage. This is especially true if it is somewhere between 415 and 455 nanometres. Unfortunately, this measured amount isn’t a rarity. The average LEDs in phones, TV, and computers emit wavelengths above 400 nanometres. As a matter of fact, they can even go up to nearly 500 nm!
If you’re wondering why artificial blue light emissions are more likely to cause eye problems than natural sources, it’s because they don’t decrease. During the day, sunlight increases and then wanes before evening falls. However, the blue light emitted from screens doesn’t reduce its brightness intensity.
Blue Light Emissions and Phototoxicity
Many researchers and experts have also linked blue light emissions to retinal damage. In fact, they can be hazardous and cause light-induced photochemical damage to the retina. This is called phototoxicity. However, the intensity of the damage largely depends on the wavelength and how long the exposure lasted.
Some research suggests that blue light can also cause permanent damage to an individual’s vision. This is because light affects the retina and can cause macular degeneration.
Can Constant Exposure to Blue Light Cause Macular Degeneration?
Binge-watching side effects can also be extremely serious. Some researchers confirm that prolonged exposure to blue light can cause damage to retinal cells. This results in macular degeneration, usually known as an age-related problem.
The American Macular Degeneration Foundation also confirms that blue light (along with ultraviolet light) can lead to serious eye damage and age-related macular degeneration. Additionally, blue light can lead to other severe retinal problems, such as cataracts.
Alt-text: Now that you understand the adverse effects of binge-watching, it’s important to make lifestyle changes to ensure your well-being. However, if watching Netflix movies and shows back-to-back is one of your favourite ways to wind down, we can help!
Instead of making major lifestyle changes for binge-watching side effects, you can invest in blue light blockers. These include blue light filters for computer and phone screens or eyeglasses. If you’re on the hunt for these items, consider MyBlueProtector.com’s eye-improving products today!
The company is a renowned supplier that provides premium-quality blue light screen protectors manufactured by Ocushield. They provide FDA-registered, MHRA-approved, and medically rated blue light blockers.
Individuals can access their site to purchase blue light filters for computer screens, iPad, iPhones, Samsung smartphones, and Macbooks. Additionally, the company provides Nintendo switch blue light screen protector and anti-blue light glasses for adults and children.
Contact them today to learn more about their products.