We have always known that too much screen time is not good and that reading in the dark probably isn’t a good idea either. Researchers at the University of Toledo have just confirmed it plus some.
They found that, when our eyes absorb the blue light emitted by your smartphone, they interact with the vitamin A (retinal) naturally present in our eyes, and a type of retinal-generated toxic molecule is created, and that molecule is responsible for the death of cells including photoreceptor cells. Worse, once those cells are dead, they are gone for good.
Damage caused to photoreceptor cells can increase the risk of macular degeneration. It may lead to blurring and reduction of vision in the center of our visual field. This is often referred to as blind spots. Even without the additional damage done by smartphones and other devices, there are already over 11 million Americans suffering from the ocular condition.
They scientists dd find that an alpha-tocopherol (a type of vitamin E) molecule can stop cell death. However, it is less effective in older adults who are already prone to vision loss due to macular degeneration, the most common cause of vision loss as we age.
If you still think vitamin E might be worth adding to your diet, read the label carefully. Not all vitamin E is the same. In fact, much of the vitamin E sold on shelves today is made synthetically. Natural vitamin E will have a “d-“ before the name in the ingredients while synthetic vitamin E will have a “dl-“ listed before the name.
As for what the researchers suggest, they advise wearing lenses that filter out both UV and blue light. They also recommend adding blue light filters to your smartphones and computer screens. In addition, they remind us yet again that it might not be a good idea to sit in a dark room looking at a screen.
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