Your Phone Might Be Making You Blind

The blue light emitted by most of the screens you look at each day could have terrible long-term effects on your vision - including blindness. 

New research from the University of Toledo shows that the kinds of light emitted by your phone causes the eye's photoreceptor cells to die. When we look at blue light, toxic molecules are generated which then attack photoreceptor cells, causing an incurable form of vision impairment called macular degeneration.

"Photoreceptor cells do not regenerate in the eye. When they're dead, they’re dead for good," Kasun Ratnayake, a PhD student at the University of Toledo who was involved in the study told The Guardian.

She says that while there are molecules found in the eye that prevent these all important cells from dying, they often become less effective as people age, leaving the elderly particularly vulnerable.

Blue light, however, is not just found spilling from smartphones, laptops and TVs. It's also naturally emitted from the sun, making it particularly hard to avoid.

"We are being exposed to blue light continuously and the eye’s cornea and lens cannot block or reflect it," explained Dr. Ajith Karunarathne - Assistant Professor in the university's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

To minimize the damage done to your eyes, Karunarathne suggests investing in a par of sunglasses that filter out both UV and blue light. He also says you should avoid looking at your electronic devices in the dark.

So no more bingeing on YouTube in bed.


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