Are you addicted to your smartphones, laptops and tablets? The blue light emitting from these digital devices can affect your eye’s retina and lead to age-related macular degeneration, according to a research led by a professor of Indian-origin.
Macular degeneration, an incurable eye disease that results in significant vision loss starting on average in a person in their fifties and sixties, is the death of photoreceptor cells in the retina. Those cells need molecules called retinal to sense light and trigger a cascade of signalling to the brain.
Since photoreceptors, produced in the eye, are useless without retinal, one needs a continuous supply of retinal molecules to see. “It’s toxic. If you shine blue light on retinal, the retinal kills photoreceptor cells as the signalling molecule on the membrane dissolves,” explained Kasun Ratnayake, doctoral student researcher at the varsity. “Photoreceptor cells do not regenerate in the eye. When they’re dead, they’re dead for good.”
To protect your eyes from the blue light, wear sunglasses that can filter both UV and blue light outside and avoid looking at your cell phones or tablets in the dark, he suggested.