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Health Watch: Eye Doctors Concerned About Blue Light From Electronic Devices

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- You wouldn't stare at the sun for hours on end, but you're probably doing something every day that could also damage your eyes.

Electronic screens all emit blue light and studies suggest that could lead to macular degeneration.

But as CBS2's Dr. Max Gomez reports, there are some easy fixes.

They've become a mainstay in most homes -- electronic devices for entertainment and even education.

"Everybody now a days -- all the kids in our neighborhood -- all have iPads," parent Hollie Farzati said. "They give out iPads for the kids to do their homework on. I never thought it could be damaging."

A touch I.D. pad is seen on the new iPad Mini 3 during an Apple special event on Oct. 16, 2014 in Cupertino, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

However, studies are beginning to suggest that the blue light emitted by these electronic screens may actually be damaging our eyes, especially young, vulnerable eyes.

"We're raising this generation of kids, of young adults and even older adults who are spending hours and hours and hours of time staring at these devices," optometrist Dr. Michael Cross said.

The blue light emitted from the screens is in the exact range where it does the most harm.

"Shorter wavelength but higher in energy ... it penetrates through the lens, the cornea to get to the back of the eye to the retina," Dr. Cross said.

MOREHealthWatch: Vitamin D Might Help Prevent Macular Degeneration

Constant exposure to blue light could lead to macular degeneration and eventually even blindness, but there are things you can do to reduce your risk.

"There are certain apps you can put on Android devices, Apple devices, most of them free of charge that they will actually filter out that blue light," Dr. Cross said.

Or even better, you could purchase inexpensive blue light-blocking glasses. They're often sold as computer glasses.

It's not certain that this blue light could lead to macular degeneration, because it may take decades for the problem to show up. But many eye care professionals are saying it's not worth taking a chance, especially since protection from the blue light is relatively simple.

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