There has been a lot of talk about the harm and danger brought on by blue light, which is emitted by smartphones and other devices. There is growing research that suggests blue light can be slowly harming our health.
Well, the latest study finds that your pre-sleep habit of checking smart devices in bed could be harming your vision.
Researchers from the University of Toledo found that blue light may contribute to macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of vision loss worldwide. The researchers suspect that blue light erodes the health of our eyes over time.
Compared to other types of light, blue light has shorter wavelengths and carries more energy. Exposure to this can trigger a toxic reaction, which can kill light-sensing photoreceptor cells in the retina.
During their studies, the researchers uncovered that only blue light triggered a reaction in the eyes – not red, green, or yellow light.
Our eyes naturally contain antioxidants to protect cell death from occurring, but as we age, these antioxidants are less abundant. This allows blue light to have more harmful effects that contribute to macular degeneration.
Researcher Kasun Ratnayake explained, “Photoreceptor cells do not regenerate in the eye. When they’re dead, they’re dead for good.”
A simple solution to prevent macular degeneration is to avoid blue light, but unfortunately, in today’s world, it’s nearly impossible. The researchers suggest that even if you can’t avoid blue light throughout the day, at least reduce your exposure at night. At night when it’s dark, the blue light becomes more concentrated and direct to the eyes. The researchers compare nighttime blue light exposure similar to that of holding a magnifying glass to the sun – it becomes that much more intense.
You can also wear glasses intended to filter out blue light.
The researchers are in the works of possibly creating eye drops intended to negate the harmful effects of blue light.
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