When it comes to eyesight, the many colors of light our eyes are exposed to are far from equal. In fact, blue rays of light can damage our eyes over time, as they have shorter wavelengths and more energy than other colors. Blue rays of light contribute to macular degeneration, which is the main cause of blindness.
Now, thanks to a team of dedicated researchers, we know how exactly blue light causes this damage, which also means we might be able to prevent it.
Sunlight contains all the colors of the light spectrum, from blue to red, which means that it’s our main source of blue light exposure. Digital devices, such as our smartphones, televisions and computers also emit blue light, which we of course spend a whole lot of time staring directly at from a distant much too close for comfort. We also commonly turn to our technological devices in the evening hours, which is also when blue light is known to be the most harmful.
Macular degeneration is basically when the retina’s photoreceptor cells die. Researchers decided to target retinal molecules that photoreceptor cells needs in order to sense light and then send a signal to the brain.
Researchers combined retinal with various cells from throughout the body. When blue light was shined on the retinal, it killed the cells with chemical molecules that were produced. It wasn’t blue light nor retinal alone that damaged the cells.
Researchers are hopeful that this can lead to a treatment, such as eyedrops that can slow down the process of macular degeneration.