The level of EMF pollution in the environment today can cause significant damage to your eyes, research studies say.
Human eyes are undoubtedly a marvel of nature. With a magnificent 526-megapixel resolution, these organs provide us with vision, give us the ability to comprehend visual details, and help activate the vision-independent photo response functions in our body.
But studies show that the electromagnetic fields you expose yourself to on a daily basis have the potential to cause severe damage to your eyes. This can cause problems like premature aging of the eyes, lens damage, and disruptions on a cellular level.
This is what we’re going to discuss in this post in-depth. Then, we’ll look at things you can do to protect yourself from these problems. So, let’s begin.
Table of Contents
Why Are Human Eyes Sensitive to EMF?
Our eyes receive visible light signals and send them to the brain for processing. Because of this, they have to be extremely sensitive to electromagnetic fields. As you may know, visible light is also a type of EMF, and it sits in the middle section of the electromagnetic spectrum.
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If your eyes were to lose EMF sensitivity for some reason, you would face a ton of complications. Moreover, you wouldn’t be able to process information as fast as you do right now.
Put simply, your eyes are sensitive to EMF because it helps them function. It’s only because of this sensitivity that you can see and experience the world in vivid detail.
But, like all good things, this quality also has a downside. Because our eyes are so sensitive to EMF, they’re highly vulnerable to human-made EMF-induced health effects. Let’s take a look.
Ocular Temperature Increase
Temperature is vital for the sustainability of the human body, and it has to be maintained in the correct balance.
Your internal systems do a great job of keeping your body at an optimal temperature. But if your body cannot manage that temperature for some reason, the proteins in your body can denature.
Protein denaturation happens when the molecular structure of protein in your body breaks apart irreversibly, causing unnatural cell death.
Your eye lenses are incredibly susceptible to temperature changes. This means that if there’s an unwanted temperature change inside your eyes, you’ll become prone to developing problems like presbyopia and cataracts.
And researchers say that the level of EMF we’re exposed to on a daily basis can significantly increase our ocular temperature. Ocular means “of or connected with the eyes or vision.”
Cellular Damage in Ocular Cells
A 2018 research study found that radiofrequency emissions from your devices like cellphones, tablets, and WiFi routers can induce DNA damage and oxidative stress in your lens epithelial cells (LECs).
LECs are the parental cells that help develop transparent lenses in your eyes. Too much oxidative stress and DNA damage can cause your LECs to die.
See, cell death is natural in humans – necessary, in fact. This process is called apoptosis, and it’s crucial for your body to discard old cells. Studies say that over 50 billion cells die in our bodies each day to make way for new ones.
Apoptosis stops excessive and damaged cells from accumulating in your body and helps keep you healthy.
This process is well-engraved in our DNA, which is why we host only a specific number of cells required for us to survive at any given time. And the human body does a good job managing this number.
But the problem arises when your cells die of necrosis, also known as unnatural death. When that happens, the dying cells leave harmful chemicals behind, making way for problems like inflammation, tumor growth, and even cancer.
When you expose your eyes to EMF for a long time, your brain perceives those signals as a stress factor, causing your ocular cells to respond aggressively, resulting in irreversible cellular damage and unnatural cell deaths.
Damage to Eye Lenses
When you expose your eyes to a large amount of EMF, and for a long time, your eye lenses can get severely damaged, say researchers from the Israel Institute of Technology.
For their experiment, the researchers surgically obtained several eyes from 1-year-old male calves at an abattoir and kept them under organ culture conditions.
Once the subjects were ready, they exposed the eyes to 192 fifty-minute cycles of EMF operating on 1.1GHz frequency. They also had a control group of 20 lenses that they just kept in organ culture, unexposed to EMF.
During this experiment, they observed that the optical quality of lenses dropped, and they had suffered severe lens damage after a mere four days.
After nine days, the experiment ended, and the subjects were taken off EMF exposure. Surprisingly, the lenses began repairing themselves.
So, what does this mean?
The research team says that “environmental stress, including electromagnetic radiation, has a negative impact on the lens and is considered a risk factor for cataracts.”
But if you manage to mitigate your exposure, the EMF-induced damage to your eyes can reverse.
Uveal melanoma is a type of tumor that grows in the eyes. So far, 5.1 million cases of uveal melanoma have been reported since the 1970s. And studies show a huge link between prolonged EMF exposure and the development of uveal melanoma.
In 2010, a group of European researchers gathered 3491 subjects to understand the association between occupational exposure to EMF and the risk of uveal melanoma.
Out of the 3491 subjects, 293 were diagnosed with uveal melanoma, and the remaining 3198 were in the control group. After interviewing the subjects, researchers found that people who are exposed to electrical transmission installations had an increased risk of developing this condition.
They also found that women were at more risk of developing uveal melanoma than men.
Another study published in the journal Epidemiology reached a similar conclusion after assessing subjects with RF (radio frequency) exposure. After their three-year experiment, they concluded their paper by saying, “We found an increased risk of uveal melanoma in relation to RFR as transmitted by radio sets and mobile phones. The association between electromagnetic fields and uveal melanoma was limited to RFR (radiofrequency radiation).”
General Eye Damage (Non-EMF Related)
So far, you’ve learned about how exposing your eyes to EMF causes many adverse effects. But the thing is, EMF is not the only threat. Most gadgets that expose you to the said EMF can also cause problems in your eyes for other reasons.
Blue Light Exposure
Prolonged blue light exposure is one of the most common problems today. LED screens in our cell phones, laptops, tablets, and smart TVs emit this light. And studies say that prolonged blue light exposure can cause several problems, including sleep disorders, blurry vision, eyestrain, dry eye, macular degeneration, and even cataracts.
I have written a separate post on the effects of blue light on your health and tips on mitigating your exposure. So, give it a read.
Computer Vision Syndrome
Your eyes are actually not designed for viewing digital screens for a long time. So, when you spend a lot of time watching screens, your eyes have to work extremely hard – more than what they’re designed to do. As a result, they become highly susceptible to computer vision syndrome (CVS), also known as digital eye strain.
CVS isn’t a single problem. It includes a range of symptoms. And studies show that between 50-90% of people who work on a computer screen suffer from at least one of those symptoms.
Have a look at what problems are associated with CVS:
- Blurred vision
- Dry eyes
- Neck and shoulder pain
Macular degeneration is a condition in which the patient experiences a central vision loss. Central vision is what you see when you look straight ahead.
There are two types of macular degeneration: dry macular degeneration and wet macular degeneration. Have a look at the symptoms of both these conditions.
Symptoms of dry macular degeneration include:
- Central vision reduction
- Seeing a distortion of straight lines in your field of sight
- Inability to see in low lighting
- Difficulties in adapting to low lights
- Retinal damage
Some wet macular degeneration symptoms are similar to those of dry macular degeneration, like visual distortions and reduced central vision. But, if you have wet macular degeneration, you may also experience:
- A blurry spot in your vision field
- A dark spot in the center of your vision
- Hazy vision
Macular degeneration is generally associated with aging, but experts say that you become susceptible to this condition when you expose your eyes to screens for a long time.
What Can You Do?
Human eyes are extremely sensitive. So, you need to ensure that yours are protected from EMF and screen-induced damages. Here are a few tips to help you with that.
Mitigate EMF Emissions in Your Surroundings
When we think of mitigating EMF, we usually focus on specific devices, like cell phones, laptops, or WiFi routers. Even regulatory bodies who set the EMF exposure limits take this approach.
And that’s not the right approach at all. This is because, when you’re talking about EMF mitigation, it’s super important to take the EMF emissions in your surroundings into account.
Focusing on specific devices isn’t optimal because even if you reduce the emissions from one device, the other emitters in your environment will keep exposing you to their harmful EMFs.
We have a simple concept that will help you take a holistic approach to mitigating EMF. It’s called ‘minimize use & maximize distance.’
Minimize Use & Maximize Distance
Tech overuse has become an immense problem today. And I’m not just talking about people using their phones for hours. Electronic gadgets with wireless connectivity emit EMF even when you’re not using them.
Take WiFi routers, for example. Most people keep their router turned on at all times, even during the night when they’re not using the internet. The router will continue emitting EMF, exposing your body to harmful radiation all night. It’s the same story with a lot of our devices.
Minimizing use means reducing your tech usage. You can simply turn off your gadgets when not in use, so they can’t expose you to EMF at all times.
The other rule is to maximize distance.
According to the inverse square law of physics, “the power of EMF weakens with distance.” So, the further you are from the EMF source, the less your exposure will be.
This rule asks you to avoid doing things like carrying your cell phone in your pocket or bra and using your laptop on your lap. Besides that, I also recommend you keep EMF sources as far as you can from the areas in your house where you spend the most time, like your sitting room and your bedroom.
Keep Distance with Your Phone While on Call
Your phone has to emit a massive amount of EMF to keep a connection with the network tower while you’re on a call. And when you place your phone to your ear, the phone’s EMF emissions pass through your head.
The problem with this is that your brain absorbs some of that passing EMF, which can lead to several health problems. Also, since your eyes are incredibly close to your ear, they’ll be exposed to massive EMF emissions as well.
So, instead of holding your phone up on your ear, use the loudspeaker function. Or if you’re in a public place, you can use wired headsets.
Stay Away from Smart Glasses
With the launch of Facebook’s Ray-Ban Stories in September 2021, and Amazon announcing their plan to produce Alexa-assisted smart glasses, signs are pointing towards smart glasses being a part of our everyday tech in the future. But the problem with smart glasses is that, like Bluetooth headsets, they’re a source of heavy EMF radiation.
And since they’re designed to be worn directly near your eyes, they can cause problems. So, for now, I recommend you steer clear of smart glasses. If, in the future, this turns out not to be an option, then you’ll have to figure out how to use smart glasses responsibly. I have a separate post to help you with that.
Get Blue Light Filter Glasses
This is probably one of the best things you can do for your eyes in today’s day and age. Most non-EMF-related problems I mentioned above are associated with blue light exposure from your digital screens. Blue light filter glasses will prevent your screens’ blue light from entering your eyes and causing problems.
If you wish, you can check out our in-house designed SYB Blue Light Filter Glasses. They’re lab-tested to be highly effective, and with a price tag of less than $40, they’re also easy on your wallet.
Your eyes are sensitive, and there’s no getting around the fact. There’s no training you can do or medications you can take to make them resilient to threats. So, the only option is to protect them at all costs.
That said, I also understand that tech usage is an integral part of our lives. And there’s no way to accomplish tech-related things without exposing sensitive organs like eyes to EMF.
But there is a way out. And no, you don’t have to quit using technology. You just have to build a healthier relationship with it.
Our panel of experts from the EMF and medical industries explains this in-depth on our new show, “The Healthier Tech Podcast.” We’re available on all major platforms, so give it a listen.