Blue Light and How it Affects Human Aging
Based on a new study, prolonged exposure to blue light (such as that which our gadgets emit) affects our longevity – even if it's not directly shining on our eyes. It was found that light-emitting diodes damage brain cells, as well as retinas. These findings are accumulated through a model organism: Drosophila melanogaster or the common fruit fly. This is the perfect model for this study because of the cellular and developmental mechanisms it shares with other animals and humans. By exposing the flies to daily 12-hour blue LED light, it was revealed that light accelerates aging. Flies in this regular cycle tend to live shorter lives compared to those kept in total darkness. Also, these model organisms show signs of damaged cells – locomotion impairments. And since some flies in this experiment do not develop eyes, researchers came up with the conclusion that flies didn't have to see the light to be harmed by it.
Light is regulating protective genes. Light without the presence of the blue LED light slightly shortens lifespan. Meanwhile, exposure to blue LED light alone dramatically reduces it. However, room LED lightings have not been used long enough to know its effects on the human lifespan. Since we're living in a generation of unlimited possibilities, the human lifespan has increased radically over the past century. But, it is still under further studies to know if the effects of blue light are the same as to humans. As a temporary solution, researchers suggest using eyeglasses with amber lenses to filter out blue light and protect human retinas. And there are still emerging hopes that sooner, there will be phones or gadgets that are capable of auto-adjusting the display based on the length of usage the phone perceives.
Visit Science Daily to learn more about the effects of blue light on human aging.