Blue light emitted from smartphones and laptops accelerates blindness

Blue light,Smartphone,Health

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the U.S. and while it does not cause total blindness, AMD can make everyday activities such as reading and recognising faces hard.

From cellphones to laptops to tablets, screens are all around us - and for many, it's hard to look away.

The eye's cornea and lens can not block or reflect blue light, which has become an unavoidable constant presence for many people.

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The results of a new study warn against using devices such as smartphones in the dark, as the blue light emitted from screens can damage the eye.

Research by the University of Toledo has found that long periods of exposure to blue light triggers the production of poisonous molecules in the eye's photoreceptor cells. Now, scientists at the University of Toledo say the blue light that comes from electronics is doing permanent damage to our vision.

"We are being exposed to blue light continuously, and the eye's cornea and lens can not block or reflect it", Dr. Ajith Karunarathne, assistant professor in the UT Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, said. The recently published study found that when exposed to blue light retinal can turn against the body, generating the types of chemicals that destroy photoreceptor cells. Because of this, in the cytoplasm, sharply increasing the concentration of calcium, which can eventually lead to cell death.

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Macular degeneration, sometimes referred to as age-related macular degeneration or AMD, is a condition that results from the breakdown or thinning of cells in the macula - a part of the eye's retina that's important for seeing fine details.

Retinal that absorbs the blue light converts oxygen cells into a toxic molecule that kills the photoreceptor cells. 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.

Researchers noted that once a photoreceptor cell is dead, it's gone for good. This mechanism can work not only in photoreceptors but also in other types of cells, reported in the journal Scientific Reports. This was revealed when researchers studied what happened when blue light was shone onto different types of cells from the body. But as we age, or our immune system takes a hit, we lose the ability to fight against the toxic retinal attack - and that's when the damage occurs.

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If you want to protect your eyes, Dr. Karunarathne suggests wearing sunglasses/glasses that filter out harmful UV and blue light, using blue light filters on phones and monitors, and avoid using electronic devices with screens in the dark.

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