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.


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