Highlight: How can we protect our eyes indoors?

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Artificial lighting is used to simulate the light of the sun indoors.  We need proper lighting not only for vision tasks but for safety.  When the macula is damaged by AMD, not only do we lose our visual acuity but also our ability to process glare and contrast. The range of light made available varies quite a bit, each type with its own benefits and risks (sometimes these are based on scientific research, sometimes opinion & experience). The brightness & type of light is important.  These are the most common types of lighting you can get –  there are others that you’ll see in the links provided below:

  • Full spectrum: You get the entire spectrum just like you do with the sun (infrared, visible, non-visible). This type of lighting is used to grow plants indoors (grow lights) but also to sew and do crafts. It enhances color & contrast but it includes the harmful UVA, UVB and blue light.
  • Incandescent: the most common form of light bulb which provides a yellower, more direct light that is good for close work, like sewing or reading.  There is some blue light emitted.
  • Halogen: produces the brightest and whitest light. For some people with low vision, it can enhance contrast between print and background, but for others they generate too much glare. It also generates a lot of heat.
  • LED (Liquid Electrical Display): The newest form of lighting.  The quality of light provided is excellent, the color of the light is not damaging to the eyes (has no UV rays), the bulbs are long-lasting (eg, with 8 hours a day, an LED light could last 14 years) and there are no hot lamp surfaces or bulbs. They do, however, emit blue light.  For that reason, some people do not use them.  
  • Fluorescent : casts blue-white light evenly and without shadows over a wide area. Because it generates a lot of light without using a lot of electricity, it is the type of lighting most often used in public places, such as supermarkets or offices. But it can create increased glare.

Here are some links to helpful sources regarding indoor lighting.

Lens Coatings/screen protectors to filter out harmful rays

Not only do we have to protect our eyes outdoors but also indoors.   We’ve talked about the type of light that can be made available but there are two more considerations:

  • what if you can’t control the lighting in your environment, eg, you work where there are flourescent lighting that causes glare or full spectrum light which emits blue light?
  • We are getting harmful blue light from our computers, tablets, cell phones, TVs, etc.



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