Blue light has long been suspected to contribute to Advanced Macular Degeneration. But as with a suspect still at large, there hasn’t been sufficient evidence to convict. A new study from the University of Toledo, recently reported in Vision Monday, may have found the smoking gun. The study found that excitation of the retinal by blue light ultimately leads to excessive shape change in the cell, and cell death.
According to Kasun Ratnayake, one of the researchers involved in the study, “If you shine blue light on retinal, the retinal kills photoreceptor cells as the signaling molecule on the membrane dissolves. Photoreceptor cells do not regenerate in the eye. When they’re dead, they’re dead for good.”
The study has two key implications. One is to help confirm what we have suspected, which is that blue light exposure over time can lead to AMD. The other is that, by understanding the mechanism by which blue light leads to cell death, we can ultimately develop means to combat it.
The researchers are now studying the effects of indoor light sources on the retinal, to understand whether lower-intensity blue light exposure has similar detrimental effects. Some studies have indicated that blue light from these sources is not sufficient to cause harm, but the jury is still out. Whatever the conclusion, it’s now more urgent than ever to talk to patients about blue light, and to make sure they are aware of eyewear options available to protect them, like UVhpfrom GSRx.
You can read the study results here.