Chronic Dark Adaptation: The Problem With Wearing Sunglasses Indoors
Wearing sunglasses indoors seems like the obvious choice for managing light sensitivity or coping with fluorescent lights. The problem? It actually increases your sensitivity to light through a process called dark adaptation.
“People who wear dark glasses can actually dark-adapt themselves and increase their photosensitivity. Sunglasses outside, of course, are fine, but the darker the glasses inside, the more light-sensitive the person will become,” according to Kathleen B. Digre, MD, professor of ophthalmology and neurology at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.
Everyone has experienced dark adaptation – it’s what happens when you leave a movie theater and the sun’s brightness is overwhelming. Your eyes are so adjusted to being in the dark theater that when you step outside, light appears to be even brighter than it was when you went into the movie.
Most people’s eyes readjust fairly quickly after leaving a movie. People with chronic dark adaptation have extra-heightened light sensitivity all the time. And chronic dark adaptation is what happens when you wear sunglasses indoors frequently.
When people who are especially sensitive to light become chronically adapted to dark, light becomes even more troublesome for them. This is when people start searching for the darkest possible sunglasses or even wear multiple pairs of sunglasses at one time. Unfortunately, both of these methods feed the cycle of chronic dark adaptation.
Filtering the problematic wavelengths of light to begin with is far more effective. The lenses of Indoor TheraSpecs are light enough that they don’t cause dark adaptation and they’re actually more effective than wearing sunglasses indoors. That’s because the TheraSpecs lens is specially designed for managing the wavelengths of light that are most painful and trigger health problems.
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