ENERGY-SAVING 'green' LED
lights can cause serious damage to the retina, according to recent
research by Spanish scientists.
And once the cells are
destroyed by prolonged and continuous exposure to LED rays, they
cannot be replaced and will not regrow.
This is caused by the high
levels of radiation in the 'blue band', and is likely to become a
global epidemic in the medium term given that computer, mobile phone
and TV screens, and even traffic lights and street lights, have been
gradually replaced with LED.
Experts are calling for
these to have built-in filters to cut out the blue glare.
An investigator at
Madrid's Complutense University, Dr Celia Sánchez Ramos, says the
retina, a highly-sensitive tissue covering the eye, never regenerates
itself once it has become damaged.
The professor of the
University College of Optics at the Complutense says LED lights are
made up of rainbow longitude waves, and it is the blue part which
causes the problem.
“LED is fantastic
if there is adequate protection,” she explains.
Humans have their eyes
open for around 6,000 hours a year, and most of this time they are
exposed to artificial light – for which reason Dr Sánchez Ramos
says the best way to prevent damage is to 'close your eyes often to
soften the impact'.
She also says using good
sunglasses with UV filter rays, and a healthy and varied diet rich in
Vitamin A – which comes from spinach and peppers – will protect
The Prince of Asturias
Scientific Investigation Prize winner in 2009 says Vitamin A has a
high concentration of visual pigments, known as 'maculars', which are
responsible for absorbing the harmful elements of light such as
short-wave blue and violet rays.
A human being's ability to
store these pigments reduces with age.
“This problem is
going to get worse, because humans are living longer and children are
using electronic devices from a young age, particularly for
schoolwork, instead of paper,” Dr Sánchez Ramos explains.
“Eyes are not
designed to look directly at light – they are designed to see with
investigation into eye damage caused by LED was financed by the
MAPFRE Foundation, the charitable arm of the Spanish insurance giant