Researchers recently discovered a link between insomnia and discoloration of the eye's lens. The lens of our eye is normally clear but as we age, the lens of the eye become yellower. It is believed that the development of¬† cataracts (yellowing of the lens) interferes with the eye's ability to absorb blue light which plays a factor in regulating the brain's melatonin levels. Melatonin has a key role in our daily sleep-wake cycle. Yellow lenses cause the blue light to be filtered out. Participants in the study were evaluated with a lens autofluorometry which measures the amount of blue light transferred through the lens to the retina. Subjects who had lower levels of blue light were prone to having sleep disturbances. These study findings echo those of an earlier study which found that sleep quality improves in people who have cataract surgery and have their lenses removed.* Elise Ervin Staff Writer
Can't sleep? Maybe it's due to cataracts.
- by Dr. Paul Krawitz
- 13 October, 2011