Scientists investigate cellular impact of blue light

Modesto Morganelli
Agosto 12, 2018

"Blue rays of light, which have shorter wavelengths and more energy than other colors, can damage our eyes over time â€" they contribute to macular degeneration, the primary cause of blindness.

Age-based macular degeneration occurs naturally even without the presence of screens as our eyes are exposed to blue light from sunlight.

They also noticed that blue light alone or retinal without blue light had no effect on cell.

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.

It kills photoreceptor cells, which do not regenerate.

According to this new research, blue light can makes us blind. Now, scientists at the University of Toledo say the blue light that comes from electronics is doing permanent damage to our vision.

The researchers said molecules that we need to be able to see, called retinal, turn into cell killers when they interact with blue light.

"We are being exposed to blue light continuously, and the eye's cornea and lens can not block or reflect it", said Ajith Karunarathne, an assistant professor at University of Toledo in the US.

Macular degeneration vision loss presently affects a small proportion of the adult population and is commonly found among those in their 50s and 60s.

It is caused by the death of photoreceptor, ie light-sensitive cells in the retina. These retinal molecules were them introduced into other cell types of the body such as heart cells, nerve cells, cancer cells etc. Now, researchers at the University of Toledo have discovered an entirely new problem with blue light.

Ratnayake said once these photoreceptor cells are dead, they are dead "for good" and can not be regenerated.

"If you look at the amount of light coming out of your cell phone, it's not great but it seems tolerable", says John Payton, who also worked on the study.

The researchers found that being exposed to blue light causes retinal to set a chain of reactions that leads to toxic chemical molecules to be created in the photoreceptor cells. "It can kill any cell type", said lead author and assistant professor in the UT department of chemistry and biochemistry, Dr. Ajith Karunarathne.

"That is when the real damage occurs", Karunarathne said.The lab now is measuring light coming from television, cell phone and tablet screens to get a better understanding of how the cells in the eyes respond to everyday blue light exposure.

"Every year more than two million new cases of age-related macular degeneration are reported in the United States", Karunarathne said.

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