Blue Light From Smartphone, Computer Displays Can Accelerate Blindness

Blue light emitted from smartphones and laptops accelerates blindness – study

A new study has shown how blue light can cause macular degeneration - one of the leading causes of blindness.

Age-based macular degeneration occurs naturally even without the presence of screens as our eyes are exposed to blue light from sunlight.

THE BLUE light emitted from smartphones, laptops and a wide variety of digital devices not only damages your vision but can actually speed up blindness.

While other studies have been done on how exposure to blue light affects mood as well as significantly disrupt our circadian rhythms, this is the first time that a study has looked specifically at how blue light can be detrimental to our eyes. "Photoreceptors are useless without retinal, which is produced in the eye". However, digital devices, such as computers, televisions, and smartphones, also emit blue light, and we spend an terrible lot of time staring directly at those screens from a close distance.

The research team said people should avoid using phones and computers in the dark because this can dilate pupils and cause more blue light to enter the eyes.

"It's toxic. If you shine blue light on retinal, the retinal kills photoreceptor cells as the signaling molecule on the membrane dissolves", he said.

Dr Ajith Karunarathne, an assistant professor in the university's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, said: "We are being exposed to blue light continuously and the eye's cornea and lens can not block or reflect it". During the experiments with photoreceptor cells of the retina that is added by the specialists to their neural, cancer and cardiac cells, blue light irradiation provoked "murder" molecules in the retina of all three cell types with which they were combined.

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Caused by the death of light-sensitive cells in the retina, while it doesn't result in total blindness the condition can make things like reading and recognising faces hard.

Researchers noted that once a photoreceptor cell is dead, it's gone for good.

When exposed to blue light, these cell types also died as a result of the combination with retinal.

Macular degeneration is an incurable eye disease that results in significant vision loss.

The scientists found that a molecule called alpha tocopherol, a natural antioxidant found in the eye and body, stops the cells from dying but fails to offer any protection to the ageing population or those whose immune systems have been suppressed. "We know how it happened because there are multiple paths that lead to the cell death", said Karunarathne.

Dr Ajith Karunarathne, an assistant professor in the university's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, said: "We are being exposed to blue light continuously and the eye's cornea and lens can not block or reflect it".

"Every year more than two million new cases of age-related macular degeneration are reported in the United States", Karunarathne said.

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