Do Bright Lights Increase Chances For Macular Degeneration?  

Bright lights are everywhere in our world. Ever since the Industrial Revolution, we are exposed to bright lights every waking hour. The advance of technology has increased our exposure; from cell phones, tablets, laptops and PCs, we are almost constantly looking at bright lights. 

The question is, does all this exposure increase our chances for macular degeneration?

Scientific Study Shows That Bright Lights Increase MD

The Chesapeake Bay in Maryland is home to hundreds of fishermen who make their living fishing for oysters, finfish, and blue crabs in those waters. During their work, these fishermen were naturally exposed to excessive bright light, due to etc reflection off the waters of Chesapeake Bay. 

This is why they were chosen to participate in a study in 1989, so the effects of bright light on the macula were could be measured. This was one of the first studies of its kind that proved that bright light damages the macula and raises the incidence and acceleration of macular degeneration.

Where Does Bright Light Come From?

Bright light from every source can increase the odds of developing macular degeneration. Even sunlight is a source of bright light. 

These sources include:

  • lightbulbs
  • streetlights
  • computer/tablet/cell phone screens
  • television screens
  • “passive” lights on appliances
  • smart device LED lights
  • reflective glare (snow, water, sunlight on glass, etc.)

Some of these sources may be surprising, while others are more obvious. The next question is, how does a person protect their eyes from excessive exposure to bright light?

Ways to Protect the Macula Against Bright Light

Your eye doctor in Brunswick, Jesup, and St. Marys, GA, wants you to know that the first step in protecting the macula against bright light is awareness. Simply being aware of when your eyes are being exposed to bright light can help you to minimize exposure. Other tips include:

  • Wearing computer glasses while working, gaming or surfing the internet
  • Wearing UV-rated sunglasses while driving or enjoying the outdoors
  • Turning off appliances with constant LED lights when not in use
  • Reducing television viewing time
  • Turning off LED screens on appliances and in vehicles
  • Avoiding looking directly at lamps and streetlights

It’s impossible to completely avoid bright lights in the modern world. But you can help protect your vision by taking the above-mentioned steps and by scheduling regular eye exams in Brunswick, Jesup, and St. Marys, GA, with appointments no more than six months apart.


4 Tips For Avoiding Macular Degeneration  

If you are fortunate enough to have vision, you should know that there are things you can do to protect it. Good vision—even if you happen to be near-sighted or far-sighted—is something to treasure. The best thing you can do is to see your Jesup, GA eye doctor at least once every six months for an eye exam. The other things you can do involve educating yourself about risks to your vision, including macular degeneration.

What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration is the term for vision loss that occurs due to a degeneration of health in the macula. The macula is at the back of the eye, and is considered part of the retina. Although it is very small—just about 5 mm wide—it is the part of the eye that enables central vision, as well as the majority of color vision. The most common form of macular degeneration is age-related macular degeneration, or AMD. Note that AMD is the most common vision loss problem in persons over the age of 50. Just because a person is in that age range doesn’t mean they have to get AMD. There are ways to avoid age-related macular degeneration.

Tips For Avoiding Macular Degeneration

Avoiding age-related macular degeneration includes understanding the risk factors.

Quit Smoking

If you are a smoker, do everything you can to quit. This includes vaping and chewing tobacco. Smoking is a well-known risk factor for AMD.

Improve Diet

Studies have shown that a diet rich in nutrients and whole foods supports healthy eyes and vision. Avoid excess sugar and processed foods, which would increase your chance of developing AMD.

Attain a Healthy Weight

If you are overweight, know that your vision is at risk from AMD. Obese people—and even those who are simply overweight—are at a much higher risk of developing AMD. Weight loss can reduce your risk and may even save your vision. Work with your primary care physician to come up with a safe weight loss plan.

Treat Diabetes

If you have pre-diabetes or diabetes, get treatment. Untreated diabetes has several side effects, like hypertension, that can lead to the development of AMD.

If you have macular degeneration in Jesup, GA and need help, please contact us. We have the tools and expertise to help you to maximize your vision, slow the progression of AMD. We can also screen for AMD if you feel you are at risk.