New studies describe how blue light from smartphones and laptops can damage retinal cells and possibly lead to macular degeneration, an eye condition that leads to loss of vision.
The blue light emitted by smartphone and laptop screens may seem harmless, but according to recent studies it can be toxic to the eyes.
Scientists at the University of Toledo said they discovered how blue light can lead to macular degeneration, the leading cause of loss vision in the United States. Blue light waves basically contain sufficient energy to deteriorate the health of the eyes over time.
It is no secret that blue light damages our vision by damaging the retina. Our experiments explain how this happens, says Ajith Karunarathne, professor at the University of Toledo, in an explanation.
Blue light has a shorter wavelength in the light spectrum and therefore allows more energy through than red, yellow or green light. This extra energy is the reason why blue light can be harmful to the eyes. Over-exposure can lead to a toxic reaction that kills the sensory cells of the photoreceptors in the retina.
The green, yellow or red light does not cause any activity, Karunarathne said, who found that the toxicity caused by the retina was caused only by blue light.
Another molecule of the retina generally acts as an antioxidant to prevent the death of eye cells. However, with age, the immune system struggles to keep the cells healthy. As a result, a constant bombardment with blue light can significantly increase a person’s chances of developing macular degeneration.
Photoreceptor cells do not regenerate in the eye, said Kasun Ratnayake, a doctoral student who also worked on the study. When they die, they die forever.
So, how can you protect yourself? Unfortunately, blue light is difficult to avoid. It can come from sunlight and from our smartphones, TVs and PCs, which often stand in front of our faces. Scientists, however, say that you should be careful when using electronic devices in the dark. This causes the blue light to directly hit your eyes.
In fact, in the dark the light that is emitted by a device is much more intense, said Karunarathne of Popular Science. It is like If you take the magnifying glass to focus the rays of the sun, you will see how intense the light is at its focal point. You can easily burn something.
People may also consider wearing sunglasses and other glasses to filter out the blue light. Meanwhile, Karunarathne is studying the possibility of developing an eye drop solution to counteract the harmful effects. Scientists have explained their findings in a study published in scientific reports last month.