Eye damage: 'Could the optician's bright lights have damaged my eye?'
Tuesday 24 June 2008
"The question you answered regarding dentists' lights has prompted me to ask whether the extremely bright lights used by opticians can damage the eye. Two years ago, I had an eye check-up. During a prolonged use of the examination light by the optician, my right eye became painful. Immediately after, a test revealed that I could not see clearly at the centre of my vision – hardly surprising as I could still see the after-images. Ever since that examination, I have been seeing something like that after-image in the middle of my eye when light levels are low, and I can no longer see the colour green in that area. I was examined at an eye hospital, but no signs of age-related macular degeneration were found. The specialist said my eye could not have been damaged by the optician's light. However, I am nervous about having my eyes tested again."
Dr Fred Kavalier answers your health question:
Certain types of bright lights can damage the eyes. The light that is emitted by welding arcs, for example, emits enough ultraviolet radiation to damage the cornea. This condition is almost always temporary. Intense visible lights can dazzle, but they should not damage the eye unless they contain ultraviolet radiation, so the examination lights used by opticians should not cause permanent damage. It is more likely that there was an underlying weakness which only became apparent after the exam. It is important to have regular check-ups, but you should make the optician aware of what happened last time.
Please send your questions and suggestions to A Question of Health, The Independent, Independent House, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS; fax 020-7005 2182; or email email@example.com. Dr Kavalier regrets that he is unable to respond personally to questions.
Life & Style blogs
Who is Teresa Fidalgo? Debunking the fake ghost story that's got Instagram spooked
Scottish salmon sales leap as Asia develops a taste
Grim second life of the 'breastaurant': The oft-loathed sector is booming in the States thanks to Hooters, Twin Peaks and Tilted Kilt
Health: When masturbation can be fatal: The practice of auto-erotic asphyxia is often concealed by a coroner's verdict. Monique Roffey looks at a lethal taboo
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore disappears over Java Sea
- 5 Naomi Wolf reacts to Isis 'conspiracy theories' critism after she questions whether beheading videos are real
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...
£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have previous experience...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...