The Blue Light from Your Smartphone Can Cause Blindness: Research Claims

Much has been written and researched about the harmful effects of the radiations emitted from the smartphones and tablets. The blue light radiation from the smartphones and tablets is said to stress our eye vision and cause insomnia. In recent years, more efforts have been put into the research to verify the validity of these claims and to find a way how to minimize their effects. Though the previous claims have not been convincing enough and focused on the superficial effects of screen exposure, the recent claim by the scientists have a rather disturbing explanation.

Using a smartphone in the dark causes eye disease

A new research study by scientists from the University of Toledo says that blue light radiation emitted by the tablets and smartphones can cause damages that can lead to several eye diseases. The study was first reported in The Guardian and it reveals that the blue light can damage our eyes to the cellular level. The eye exposure to this particular blue light radiation creates poisonous molecules in the light-sensitive area of the eyes inhabiting specific eye cells. This poisonous molecule can result in macular degeneration in the eyes, a disease known to cause eye blindness in humans.

According to one of the researchers, Dr. Ajith Karunarathne:

“It’s no secret that blue light harms our vision by damaging the eye’s retina. Our experiments explain how this happens, and we hope this leads to therapies that slow macular degeneration, such as a new kind of eye drop…”

Purpose of the study

The research under discussion was carried out to study the effects of different types of light on the living cells. When the cells were exposed to the blue light, the researchers discovered that photoreceptive cells have a negative response to this and they released a chemical of poisonous nature. As this chemical accumulates in the light-sensitive area of our eyes, it causes macular degeneration diseases. Consequently, leading the subject to the blindness.

What happens is that the human eye suffers from immense stress and chemical generation when it is exposed to the blue light in the dark conditions especially which leads to macular degeneration. This disease occurs naturally in some humans as they grow old and it is linked to the deterioration of the light receptive cells in our eyes. The worrying reason yet is that the damage caused by this chemical to any cell inside our body is permanent and irreversible.

The photoreceptive cells in our eyes are not capable of repairing or regenerating themselves once they are damaged. So the only way to counter the threat from the radiation of blue light is to reduce our exposure to these devices to avoid deterioration. Scientists have figured out an antioxidant chemical, generated in the human body, to prevent the photoreceptive cells from dying. But that chemical does not offer any kind of protection to the cells. Since this damage from the blue light radiation is universal in nature, it is only going to rise as our exposure to the smartphones, tablets, and TVs increases at an alarming rate.

How to mitigate this phenomenon?

If you consider the role that all these devices have in our life at the moment, it is almost impossible to get rid of these gadgets to reduce their effect on our eyes. However, there are a few ways we all can reduce the effect of these harmful radiations on our eyes.

Smartphones and tablets have introduced a built-in blue light filter software on their devices to reduce the effect of these radiations. Apple has introduced its “True Tone Display” feature on its iPhone 8, 8 Plus and subsequent devices that automatically adjusts the brightness and color of the display screen to match the conditions of the lighting around you. This feature makes the screen appear slightly more yellow without significantly changing the color of the display.

Similarly, Google has introduced a “Dark Mode” feature in the latest Android Pie. This mode not only soothes the color contrast on your screen but also saves you battery life because a darker interface requires less power. Besides, you must focus on reducing the screen exposure of your kids. If your kids are spending hours streaming on YouTube, you should try using a monitoring app that can lock the device remotely if your kid is using the device before going to sleep. By using a mix of these strategies, you can overcome the risks posed by these radiations.