Is the Light the Optometrist Shines in Your Eye Dangerous? Ask a Raleigh NC Eye Doctor

When your optometrist examines the back of your eyes for signs of damage, he or she will use a device called an ophthalmoscope to shine a bright light into your eyes. You may have worried that this light is dangerous to your eye health. Here is everything you need to know about the optician’s light and its effects.

Why Eye Exam Light Doesn’t Damage the Eye

You probably already suspect that the eye doctor’s light is not harmful. Your optometrist may have told you as much, and in any case, the exam wouldn’t be performed if it was! Here are some reasons why the light isn’t damaging:

  • During a regular retinal exam, the light is constantly moving in and out of focus
  • The exam lasts a minute or two at most
  • The peripheral retina receives most of the light, not the macula (the area responsible for central, high-resolution, color vision; hence the term macular degeneration when it is damaged)
  • Your ophthalmologist keeps the light at the lowest and safest brightness levels.

In theory, light damage is possible, but extremely unlikely in a standard office exam.

Light Damage Risk During Eye Surgery

During eye surgery, there is a little more risk of light toxicity, as patients who are anesthetized are not awake or aware enough to generate avoidance responses like blinking or looking away. To prevent damage, eye surgeons use corneal light shields and other safety practices.

Can Other Types of Bright Light Hurt My Eyes?

Certain types of non-solar bright lights can damage the eyes. The light that is emitted by welding arcs, for example, emits enough ultraviolet radiation to damage the corneas. However, this condition is almost always temporary. Intense visible lights can dazzle, but they should not damage your eye unless they contain ultraviolet radiation.

Need Raleigh Vision Care? Visit Raleigh Eye Center

If you are looking for expert Raleigh vision care, be sure to book an appointment at Raleigh Eye Center. Our skilled eye surgeons and physicians will keep your eyes healthy and safe as possible.