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There have been numerous studies done on how blue light emitting from your smartphones, and all other digital devices affect your health and sleep patterns. Blue as a wavelength is a good source during daylight to boost your attention, mood and reaction times, but when it comes to night, they turn melancholic, to say the least. According to this new study, the blue lights from the digital devices affects your retina and triggers the age-related disease, macular degeneration.
Macular degeneration is basically the death of photoreceptor cells in your retina. An incurable disease, it results in a significant loss of vision for people in their 50s or 60s. Those cells need molecules called retinal to sense light and send the signals to the brain.
And according to this new study published in the journal Scientific Reports, your eyes' exposure to the blue light causes the retinal to produce poisonous chemical molecules in photoreceptor cells.
"We are being exposed to blue light continuously, and the eye's cornea and lens cannot block or reflect it," said Ajith Karunarathne, study author and assistant professor at University of Toledo in the US.
"It's no secret that blue light harms our vision by damaging the eye's retina. Our experiments explain how this happens, and we hope this leads to therapies that slow macular degeneration, such as a new kind of eye drop," said Karunarathne.
For the experiment, Karunarathne and his team put the retinal molecules to other cell types in the body, like cancer cells and heart cells. When exposed to blue light, these cell types died as a result of the combination with retinal, but blue light alone or retinal without blue light had no effect on cells.
The researchers also went on to find that alpha tocoferol, a derivative from Vitamin E acts as a natural antioxidant in the eye and body, stops the cells from dying. But as age progresses the ability to fight against the retinal and blue light also diminishes.