Scientists have uncovered that blue light emission from your smart phone and laptop screens may seem harmless but may be toxic to the eyes and causing macular degeneration, a leading cause of vision loss in the US.
Although macular degeneration occurs in folks > 60 years old, experts suspect this may come sooner with the increased use of blue light technologies.
Let’s check the numbers:
According to the Bright Focus Foundation, as many as 11 million people in the U.S. currently have some form of age-related macular degeneration. This number is expected to reach 22 million by 2050.
Worldwide, they expect it to affect almost 288 million people by 2040.
How does blue light cause eye damage?
On the light spectrum, blue light has a shorter wavelength, and thus carries more energy than red, yellow or green light. That extra energy (more intense in the dark) is why blue light can be bad for your eyes.
Now, another molecule in your retinas normally acts as an antioxidant to prevent eye cells from dying. But the constant bombardment of blue light may overwhelm the antioxidant effect and may very well speed up someone's chances of developing macular degeneration.
How can this be prevented?
- Minimize the use of smart phone and mobile devices in the dark.
- You may consider wearing sunglasses and other eyewear that's designed to filter out blue light.
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Zhao ZC, Zhou Y, Tan G, Li J. Int J Ophthalmol. 2018; 11(12): 1999–2003.
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