Everywhere you look people are using their smartphones and many of them stair at the devices for hours on end. Is there any link between staring at these devices and going blind? Now, a new study seems to imply that the answer is yes.
The University of Toledo recently completed a study in which it was found that blue light emitted from digital devices such as smartphones and laptops can accelerate blindness. The study concluded that repeated exposure to the blue light from smartphones, laptops, tablets and the sun transforms vital molecules in the eye’s retina into cell killers. This constant exposure to blue light leads to age-related macular degeneration, the death of photoreceptor cells in the retina. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the U.S.
In a press release from the university it was explained that photoreceptor cells in the retina require molecules called retinal to sense light and signal the brain. These molecules are needed in a continuous supply in order to see. What researchers discovered however is that blue light exposure causes retinal to trigger reactions in the eye, which generate poisonous chemical molecules in photoreceptor cells and kills them.
The bad news is that these cells do not regenerate and once they are dead there are no more to replace them. There are ways to counter these effects however. Wearing sunglasses that can filter both UV and blue light is one way of minimizing the harmful effects of too much blue light. It is also advised that people should avoid looking at digital devices in the dark.
This news is just a wake-up call to let people know that they are spending way too much time staring at their smartphones and computers. For some it may be part of their job but for most people it’s just a bad habit, a habit that can cost them their vision.