Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Blue light from smartphone and computer screens can lead to blindness

Blue light,Smartphone,Health Blue Light From Smartphone, Computer Displays Can Accelerate Blindness: Study
Delores Daniels | 12 August, 2018, 19:25

New US research has found that blue light from digital devices can trigger a process in the retina of the eye which kill cells, and might increase risk of blindness.

"We are being exposed to blue light continuously and the eye's cornea and lens can not block or reflect it".

Now, thanks to a team of researchers from the University of Toledo, we know how blue light causes this damage, meaning we might also be on track to preventing it.

Macular degeneration, which affects around 2.4% of the adult population in the United Kingdom, is a common condition among those in their 50s and 60s that results in significant vision loss.

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Macular degeneration occurs when photoreceptor cells in the retina die - these cells need molecules called retinal in order to sense light and trigger signals to the brain. Photoreceptors are useless without retinal, which is produced in the eye, explains Karunarathne. 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.

"We are being exposed to blue light continuously, and the eye's cornea and lens can not block or reflect it", said Ajith Karunarathne, assistant professor in the UT Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and one of the authors of the study. "Photoreceptor cells do not regenerate in the eye".

Ratnayake said once these photoreceptor cells are dead, they are dead "for good" and can not be regenerated.

You may have heard that blue light that emits from phones and other electronics can disrupt your regular sleep patterns. Dr Ajith Karunarathne, an assistant professor in the university's department of chemistry and biochemistry explained that this blue light is constantly affecting the cornea and the lens that can not block or reflect it. "It can kill any cell type", Karunarathne said.

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The scientists found that a molecule called alpha tocopherol normally stops the cells from dying. But as we age, or if the immune system is suppressed, we lose the ability to fight against attacks by retinal and blue light.

For those wanting to protect their eyes from blue light, Dr Karunarathne advises wearing sunglasses that can filter both UV and blue light outside and avoiding browsing on mobile phones or tablets in the dark.

"If you look at the amount of light coming out of your cell phone, it's not great but it seems tolerable", Dr.in the UT Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, said. Any medicine would appear to help or delay macular degeneration, a condition that sees about 2 million new cases reported per year. "Blue rays of light, which have shorter wavelengths and more energy than other colors, can damage our eyes over time â€" they contribute to macular degeneration, the primary cause of blindness.

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