Blue Light from Cell Phones Leads to Macular Degeneration

December 11, 2017 | Wellness Resources

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 Blue Light from Cell Phones Leads to Macular Degeneration
You wouldn’t stare at the sun without sunglasses, but what about your phone? The technology surge in the last few decades has greatly increased the amount of blue light we are exposed to everyday. Artificial sources of blue light include smart phones, tablets, computers, Mp3 players, TV’s, indoor lighting, energy-efficient fluorescents, and LED lighting. Research shows that blue light is damaging to our eyesight and may eventually lead to age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.

What is Blue Light?

Light is made up of electromagnetic particles that travel in waves. Blue light has a very short wavelength so it emits a high amount of energy. This high energy light is all around us from the sun. In fact, this is why we perceive the sky as blue during the day. The high energy blue light from the sun helps give us energy by regulating our circadian rhythms. Not only is artificial blue light from technology potentially disrupting our natural circadian rhythms (such as watching TV or looking at your smart phone before bed), but the extra blue light exposure can also mean more eye strain, headaches, over-stimulation, and retinal damage over time that contributes to macular degeneration.

Light-sensitive cells of the retina are particularly susceptible to damage from oxidative stress caused by blue light exposure. A toxic compound called A2E absorbs blue light in the retina and causes free radical damage. The free radicals caused by toxic A2E leads to the development of age-related macular degeneration. Research has found that exposure to artificial blue light is associated with a build-up of retina damaging A2E.

Time to Unplug

It might be time to work on trying to reduce your screen time. At the very least, avoid artificial blue light after sunset when nature intended for your eyes to rest. Foods that may help include spinach, eggs, kale, collard greens, turnip greens, broccoli, zucchini, romaine lettuce, corn, and peas.

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