eye – The Hindu

March 6, 2022 by No Comments

Increasingly, ophthalmologists are getting complaints from patients about glare from LED (light emitting diode) bulbs commonly being used as headlights in vehicles.

The glare makes it difficult for people to drive and causes unnecessary accidents, say doctors. K. Vasantha, former director of the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology in Egmore said, “We frequently get patients complaining about the bright lights, especially the LEDs, blinding them while driving in the night. I tell them to avoid looking directly at the light,” she said. “I feel LED lights must be banned and all headlights must have the black strip in the centre. This rule used to exist but no one follows it now I think,” she added.

Amar Agarwal, chairman of Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Hospitals group, said he too had been receiving complaints from patients. He attributed it to people with cataract delaying treatment. Persons with cataract would not be able to see the light clearly and instead would see a halo around the light. Some of them would also suffer double vision, he said.

The fear of COVID-19 pandemic had prevented people from seeking treatment immediately, he said.

“When the rays of lights get diffracted differently the person will start seeing halos around the light or in worse cases double vision,” he said, adding: “Patients have to wake up to the fact that they should not delay treatment. It could result in accidents.” Drivers must also use dimmers and be considerate to fellow road users, he said.

Unlike normal lights the LED emits light in one direction. As light scatters it causes a glare effect for the driver in the oncoming vehicle, explained ophthalmologist Mohan Rajan. While using LEDs in indoor settings care is taken to provide acrylic covers that cuts the intensity of the light and thus reduces the glare too, he said. Persons who have cataract and those who have been fitted with multifocal lens post-cataract are the most affected, he said.

In developed countries where the lane division is clearer the driver does not face a problem with LED lights hurting the eye, he said.

LED emits blue light which alters the Circadian rhythm and disturbs the sleep pattern, Dr. Mohan, chairman and medical director of Rajan Eye Care hospital explained. “This is why we recommend blue filters on the computer,” he added.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/patients-complaining-of-glare-and-double-vision-due-to-led-lights-on-the-rise-say-ophthalmologists/article65052725.ece


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