The development of the information technology and the advancement of digital equipment have indeed provided us a lot of convenience. However, the frequent use of digital devices, especially various LED screens, subjects us to more and more blue light hazards every day.
"Blue light" refers to the part of visible light that is closest to ultraviolet light. It has shorter wavelengths in the 400-500 nanometer range and with more energy. The color is blue or purple, so they are called “blue light”. In recent years, people have paid more attention to the effect of blue light on the eyes. In the visible spectrum, short-wave blue light is closely related to eye damage. This high-energy blue light passes through the cornea and lens to reach the retina, causing diseases such as dry eye, cataracts, and macular degeneration. It even stimulates the brain, inhibits melatonin secretion. The harm of blue light to the human body mainly has the following aspects:
1. Effect of blue light on the cornea.
The cornea is located at the front end of the eyeball and is the first layer of structure encountered when light passes through the eye. After blue light irradiation, the survival rate of corneal epithelial cells is reduced, and the resulting chemical-mediated oxidative damage and apoptosis which leads to further eye inflammation and dry eye syndrome.
2. Effect of blue light on the retina and lens.
The retina is the initial site of vision formation and is also the site of various blinding diseases. Harmful blue light has extremely high energy, can penetrate the lens to reach the retina, and cause photochemical damage to the retina, which leads to atrophy and even death of retinal pigment epithelial cells. Blue light can also cause macular degeneration. In addition, the lens will absorb part of the blue light and gradually become cloudy to form a cataract, and most of the blue light will penetrate the lens, which is more likely to cause macular degeneration and cataract . Macular degeneration and cataracts are also the main causes of blindness in the elderly.
3. Effect of blue light on refractive development.
Due to the short wavelength of the blue light, the focus point is not at the center of the retina, but a little further forward from the retina. If we want to see clearly, our eyes will be in a state of tension for a long time, causing visual fatigue which will make myopia even worse and diplopia, resulting in inattention, affecting our learning and work efficiency.
4. Effect of blue light on sleep quality.
Excessive blue light, especially at night when melatonin production peaks, not only damages the retina, but also inhibits melatonin secretion, increasing the production of corticosteroids, thereby affecting sleep quality. In order to avoid the hazards caused by blue light, we should try to minimize use of digital device, and try to avoid at night.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are two fat-soluble antioxidants belonging to the class of carotenoids called xanthophylls. They are the major constituents of macular pigment. Macular pigment is a compound that is concentrated in the macula of the retina which is responsible for fine-feature visual functions. It has multiple functions that can improve visual performance and prevent the damaging effects of blue light. The level of macular pigment can be used as a surrogate indicator of macular health, especially to predict the possibility of macular degeneration. Their unique presence in the center of the macula illustrates their important role in visual performance. The anti-oxidation and blue light filter properties of Lutein and zeaxanthin can protect the eyes from macular lesions . Blue light filtering can reduce chromatic aberration and enhance visual acuity and sensitivity. Lutein and zeaxanthin slow the progression of macular degeneration. Our daily main food sources of these carotenoids are green leafy vegetables, zucchini, squash, peas, broccoli. In addition, lutein and zeaxanthin supplements are also great choices.
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By Allysian Scientific Research Board
1. Research Progress About the Effect and Prevention of Blue Light on Eyes
Zhi-Chun Zhao, Ying Zhou, Gang Tan, Juan Li
2018 Dec 18;11(12):1999-2003. doi: 10.18240/ijo.2018.12.20. eCollection 2018.
2. Lutein and Zeaxanthin-Food Sources, Bioavailability and Dietary Variety in Age-Related Macular Degeneration Protection
Bronwyn Eisenhauer, Sharon Natoli, Gerald Liew, Victoria M Flood
2017 Feb 9;9(2):120. doi: 10.3390/nu9020120.
PMID: 28208784 PMCID: PMC5331551 DOI: 10.3390/nu9020120