Blue light from smartphones may speed blindness
"We are being exposed to blue light continuously, and the eye's cornea and lens cannot block or reflect it," said Ajith Karunarathne, an assistant professor at the 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.
"It's toxic. If you shine blue light on retinal, the retinal kills photoreceptor cells as the signalling molecule on the membrane dissolves," said Kasun Ratnayake, a PhD student researcher working in Karunarathne's group.
"Photoreceptor cells do not regenerate in the eye. When they're dead, they're dead for good," said Ratnayak.
Karunarathne introduced retinal molecules to other cell types in the body, such as cancer cells, heart cells, and neurons. When exposed to blue light, these cell types died as a result of the combination with retinal. Blue light alone or retinal without blue light had no effect on cells.
The researcher found that a molecule called alpha-tocopherol, a Vitamin E derivative and a natural antioxidant in the eye and body, stop the cells from dying.
"Some cell phone companies are adding blue-light filters to the screens, and I think that is a good idea," said John Payton, visiting an assistant professor at the University of Toledo.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)