There’s no denying technology has taken our lives to the next level of convenience. As well as having a mind-boggling amount of information quite literally in the palm of our hands, we can now control our entire world via phone, tablet or laptop. From banking and grocery shopping to job applications and social connections; all it takes is a few taps or clicks. Fitting in with our hectic, on-the-go lifestyles and delivering instant gratification are two of the pluses that many of us think we would struggle to live without, but is there a darker side?

Your phone and laptop being connected to millions of others around the globe don’t come without radiation, which there is increasing evidence to suggest could be having a worrying impact on our health. It’s scary to think that no matter how many green smoothies we drink and yoga classes we attend, we could still be doing damage to our overall wellbeing simply through the digital devices we choose to use every day. Delving into the world of anti-radiation products, we sought to find out the truth behind the rumours and which products are worth their salt.

Let’s start with what radiation actually is. Put simply, mobile phones, laptops and other electronic devices emit radio waves that create an electromagnetic field. Scientific studies continue to investigate the negative, long-term effects, but what they can already agree on is that our bodies absorb the energy that devices give out via electromagnetic radiation and that it’s causing us damage – a terrifying thought when you realise more than three billion people use these kinds of digital devices every day.

Ever rested your laptop on your knees and felt its almost searing heat after a surprisingly little amount of time? This is radiation! The heat coming out of it has been shown on numerous occasions to potentially damage your skin’s pigmentation and can increase your risk of more serious skin disorders. And that’s not all. Sorry gents, but the research is not great for you on this. In one particular study, sperm count was reduced by a frightening 25% after exposure to Wi-Fi radiation from a laptop, which should also make you think about keeping that Wi-Fi-connected mobile phone in your trouser pocket…

In a similarly scary vein, let’s talk about ageing. Free radicals are not a new concept to those of us becoming increasingly (if not narcissistically) concerned about the visible effects of getting older, but we’re sorry to say there’s yet another thing playing havoc with our laughter lines. Several studies have reported that exposure to electromagnetic radiation can result in the oxidative stress known to exacerbate signs of ageing.

And what about our eyes and ears? We spend a shocking amount of time staring at those sleep-robbing blue screens (around nine hours per day on average) and holding phones against our ears, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they’re being affected too. Due to radiation damage to the inner ear, issues such as tinnitus, hearing loss and phantom ‘clicks’ being heard have all been shown in a distinct correlation with time spent on the phone; anywhere from a mere 30 minutes per day. As for our eyes, it’s now well-documented that our screen’s blue light sits at the far end of the colour spectrum and can cause harmful damage to our retinas (potentially leading to macular degeneration) and our circadian rhythm aka sleep cycles. Keep an eye (excuse the pun) on when headaches, neck pain and blurry vision strike you down, as this could be a warning sign of the damage these screens are doing to your sight.

What’s even scarier than all of the above is that there are so many other perturbing side effects that could come from using our much-loved phones and laptops as well as those included here, particularly with regard to your brain and heart. But before you begin throwing all your devices out the window, let us (finally) share with you the good news! There are some very brainy people who have been working on some very clever products that mean we can use our tech (almost) worry-free.

 

For your phone:

Claiming to reduce mobile radiation by 85%, WaveWall phone cases are crafted from a unique anti-radiation fabric that’s been scientifically proven to shield the user from harmful electromagnetic rays. These sleek flip cases provide carefully-designed protection on the side of the case that goes against your head/body (when on the phone and in your pocket); protecting you from harm without affecting your phone’s connectivity. Also just an added extra: this is a company with a heart. Placing a high importance on sustainability and ethics, they have pledged to be 100% vegan and 100% carbon neutral, making them a friend to the environment as well as to you.

 

For your laptop:

The company on your lips here should be Shield Your Body and you’ll be pleased to know there are no ugly stickers required. Instead, picture a simple pad in your choice of colour (or black if you’d prefer!) that sits humbly and unobtrusively beneath your laptop while helping to keep you healthy. The SYB Laptop Pad has been shown to reduce harmful radiation exposure from your laptop and Wi-Fi by up to 92% and doesn’t interfere with internet connections or any of the other functions you rely on your computer for every day. The brand hails from the US but luckily for you, Amazon has you covered.

 

For your eyes:

Say goodbye to strained eyes and those unseen damaging effects with Canadian brand Spektrum; one of the best-loved creators of anti-radiation glasses. Coming in various on-trend frames, their lens coatings are designed, patented and third-party tested to allow for fantastic clarity while minimising the blue light that reaches your retina. Spektrum glasses don’t give the world a yellow tint either (unlike others on the market) meaning this is style, comfort and protection without the world looking jaundice-like! Similarly popular (and for good reason) are Felix Gray, whose glasses claim to block up to 99% of that damaging blue-light glare. Their seven stylish options are unisex and available in prescription or non-prescription.

Keep in mind that as well as getting your hands on the above computer glasses, reducing time spent looking at screens (particularly in the evening), ensuring your posture set-up in relation to your computer is safe and taking regular breaks can also have a positive impact.

words by Zoe Louise Cronk

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