We all know that the blue light it emits from our smartphones is not good for our eyes, but a new study has discovered how much damage it can cause.
The researchers say that this light is absorbed by vital molecules in our retina and triggers the production of a toxic chemical that kills the cells.
This damage can lead to large blind spots in our vision that are the hallmark of macular degeneration, a disease that leads to blindness.
The team at the University of Toledo in Ohio says that it is urging the public not to use telephones in the dark because this can dilate students and cause more harmful blue light to enter our eyes.
A new study has found that the blue light that emits from our smartphones can convert vital molecules in our retina into harmful cells that kill cells (file image)
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in people 50 years of age or older, according to the National Eye Institute.
The condition occurs when the macula, an oval area near the center of the retina that allows clear vision, is damaged.
Victims will experience blurred vision or even "blind spots" in their central vision that may grow as the retina dies.
Treatments include medications that prevent new blood vessels from forming in the eye, as well as laser therapies that destroy abnormal blood vessels.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, 9.1 million Americans have early AMD and 2.1 million older than 50 have late AMD, which is a stage of severe vision loss.
That number is expected to increase as the proportion of the US population increases. UU Over 65 years old continue to grow.
For this study, the team decided to focus on the retina, a form of vitamin A found in the retina that converts light into metabolic energy.
Photoreceptor cells, more commonly known as rods and cones, use the retina to conceal light in signals that are sent to the brain.
"The human eye reflects ultraviolet light very well (like the sun's), but it allows the entry of blue light and the retina can absorb blue light very well," lead author Dr. Ajith Karunarathne, assistant professor in the department of chemistry and UT. biochemistry, said Daily Mail online.
The retina absorbed by the blue light will trigger reactions that will hide the oxygen cells in a toxic molecule that kills the photoreceptor cells.
The researchers then tested how the cells of the retina were damaged by blue light when they were injected into other cells, such as cancer cells and heart cells, which caused those cells to also die.
Dr. Karunarathne noticed that the blue light alone or the retina that had not absorbed the blue light had no effect on the cells.
He added that there was no activity when the retina was exposed to other light colors such as green, red or yellow.
The team did find a molecule, a derivative of vitamin E known as alpha tocopherol, that can prevent cells from dying.
"When photoreceptor cells are damaged, they are damaged forever, so the vitamin E derivative currently only mitigates the damage," said Dr. Karunarathne.
"We are currently looking for more molecules to see if they can quench this harmful reaction."
He explained that as we get older, the ability to prevent attacks from the retina that has absorbed the blue light became weaker, which leads to macular degeneration.
Dr. Karunarathne says that some of the ways we can protect ourselves include wearing sunglasses that can filter both ultraviolet and blue light, using blue light filters on our phones and not looking at cell phones or tablets in the dark. .
"Seeing cell phones in the dark can be very damaging because the pupils are dilated, so that more blue light can enter and cause damage," he said.