Blindness due to reading on the phone. Truth or myth?

The statistics of people switching to reading from electronic media are growing every year around the world. Most use smartphones, a slightly smaller percentage are people who read e-books. And the percentage using paper media is minimal. The trend is related to the proliferation of electronic devices and libraries. Doctors attribute the increased prevalence of mobile devices to the deterioration of vision. But whether displays or the amount of time spent reading is to blame is hotly debated.

How dangerous is phone radiation for the eyes?

Disputes about the harmfulness of the radiation of screens have appeared since their mass production and sale. Initially, monitors were hung with a special grid, allegedly reducing the harmful effects on the body and specifically the eyesight. But it turned out that the grid only benefited the sellers of the device and was essentially a useless acquisition.


Then came the belief that people who work at computers need more vitamins to keep their eyesight from going bad. This myth did great good by increasing the levels of vitamin A in people’s bodies. Gradually the hype surrounding the problem subsided, but with the proliferation of mobile devices, it flared up with renewed vigor.

Proof of the harm caused by mobile devices is the bright polarizing radiation emitted by smartphone screens. A polarizing film is a component of every screen and is necessary for it to work. In the natural world, an example of harm caused by polarizing radiation is when patterns appear in front of the eyes when looking at an object that emits bright light. In this case, the light source produces wave oscillations in one plane, vertical or horizontal.


The first screens of mobile devices did emit polarizing light in one plane, and here the supporters of harm screens were right. When you read from such a screen for a long time, you could indeed get negative consequences, but they were short-term and manifested in eye fatigue, and after a short period of time the quality of vision was restored. For this reason, the risk of health deterioration and blindness is exaggerated.

What screens are safe for the eyes?

But the fact of confirmation of even minimal risk of vision problems forced engineers to solve the problem of linear polarization radiation. To that end, more research was done, and the technology to produce polarizing film with circular radiation was born.


Such a film is used on almost all modern devices and has the following properties:

  • circular radiation is almost equal to the natural light emitted by reflected light waves when reading paper media;
  • reading fatigue yields much lower readings than with linear emission screens;
  • the susceptibility of display contrast is increased.

Having studied the properties of modern screens, it is safe to say that reading from the phone does not lead to blindness, and the threat to health is equal to the danger of reading books. Eye health depends on the length of time spent in front of a screen or a paper medium in the absence of proper rest.

08.11.2021 8:00 5

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