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Question:
Within a few hours of being under fluorescent lights it seems that my vision becomes cloudy. I had a vitrectomy and know that cataracts will more than likely develop. However, I just saw my eye doctor who confirmed that cataracts were just at an early stage. Do the fluorescent lights magnify the cloudiness of cataracts? Also is there a lens tint to wear to help with the cloudiness and glare from these lights? This is making working difficult.

Answer:
This can be a difficult and frustrating problem. Symptoms of strain, headache, blurred vision, and even confusion and lightheadedness can all arise from fluorescent lighting. Unfortunately, our understanding of this phenomenon is limited. I don’t know of a specific tint that has consistently been shown to be more helpful, but there is some work supporting the importance of UV protection. Some of my patients have had success wearing brimmed hats (to block the lighting from above) and sunglasses with polarized lenses (lenses that reduce reflected glare) and a contoured (wrapped) shape, which can limit the light coming in from the side.

There is a tint called FL-41 which has a couple of studies supporting its use, but it is a proprietary tint, so there may be bias in the studies. I do prescribe this tint on occasion based on personal observations which seem to verify its effectiveness.

Answered by: James M. Heltzer, MDDr. James M. Heltzer

Categories: Eye Conditions, General Eye Health

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Answered: Aug 11, 2014

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