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The use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) has increased considerably in the 21st century with humans living in a modern photoperiod with brighter nights and dimmer days. Prolonged exposure to LEDs, especially at night, is considered a new source of pollution because it may affect the synthesis and secretion of retinal melatonin and dopamine, resulting in negative impacts on retinal circadian clocks and potentially disrupting retinal circadian rhythms. The control of ocular refraction is believed to be related to retinal circadian rhythms. Moreover, the global prevalence of myopia has increased at an alarming rate in recent decades. The widespread use of LEDs and the rapid increase in the prevalence of myopia overlap, which is unlikely to be a coincidence. The connection among LEDs, retinal circadian rhythms, and refractive development is both fascinating and confusing. In this review, we aim to develop a systematic framework that includes LEDs, retinal circadian rhythms and refractive development. This paper summarizes the possible mechanisms by which LEDs may disrupt retinal circadian rhythms. We propose that prolonged exposure to LEDs may induce myopia by disrupting retinal circadian rhythms. Finally, we suggest several possible countermeasures to prevent LED interference on retinal circadian rhythms, with the hope of reducing the onset and progression of myopia. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Chenchen Zhang, Zhe Zhu, Jing Zhao, Yanxia Li, Zhaoying Zhang, Yajuan Zheng. Ubiquitous light-emitting diodes: Potential threats to retinal circadian rhythms and refractive development. The Science of the total environment. 2023 Mar 01;862:160809

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PMID: 36502986

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