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June 2015

Solar Retina Disease
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Dr Ling Zhou, Doctor Of Optometrist

Solar retinopathy (also known as, photic retinopathy, foveomacular retinitis, solar retinitis, and eclipse retinopathy) refers to a photochemical toxicity and resultant injury to retinal tissues, usually occurring at the fovea. This entity is commonly associated with sun-gazing or eclipse viewing, and often results in mild-to-moderate visual acuity deficit and/or central or paracentral scotomata. Recovery is spontaneous in nature and occurs over the course of 3-6 months after the inciting event, though visual recovery may be incomplete and patient may suffer from permanent visual acuity deficits and central or paracentral scotomata.


Solar (or photic) retinopathy refers to a pathophysiologic entity causing       visual disturbance sustained during or after prolonged or high intensity exposure of the foveomacular retinal tissue to light energy.

General Pathology

Histopathalogic analysis of rhesus monkey retinae after prolonged light exposure helped characterize the histopathologic changes observed in solar other photoxic retinopathies. As early as day 2 post-exposure, major changes were observed mainly in and about the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE). RPE disruption was evident throughout the exposed area, sometimes associated with choroidal damage. Pigmentary changes of the RPE were noted as macrophages were observed engulfing melanosomes in the subretinal space. Resolution of these findings can be seen by 10 days after injury.10

In 1993, ultrastructural pathologic changes of solar retinopathy were explored by Hope-Ross, et al., who had the cooperation of a 65 year-old man scheduled for enucleation for choroidal melanoma. The patient agreed to stare into the sun 6 days prior to enucleation. Findings included photoreceptor changes including vesiculation and fragmentation of photoreceptor lamellae, the presence of whirls within disc membranes, mitochondrial swelling and nuclear pyknosis. Retinal Pigment epithelial cells in the affected area showed plasma membrane changes, smooth endoplasmic reticulum swelling, and changes in lipofuscin granule structure.11


The mechanism by which retinal tissue damage occurs in solar retinopathy is photomechanical in nature. Photochemical retinal injury is believed to be a product of free radical formation. Two mechanisms of free radical formation have been proposed. First, absorption of light energy by a molecule causes an electron to enter an “excitation state”, with free radical formation being a means by which such an electron can return to the “ground state” energy level. In returning to the “ground state” energy level, an excited state electron splits a bond within another molecule, forming a free radical.9 Second, light energy absorption can cause excitation of and direct transfer of energy from an intraretinal chromophore – flavoproteins, heme proteins, melanosomes, lipofuscin, and photoreceptors themselves – to oxygen, creating a reactive oxygen species.9 Furthermore, the photochemical injury to the retinal tissues may be thermally enhanced8.

Primary prevention

Prevention of solar retinopathy is in fact the mainstay of therapy. Primary prevention of solar retinopathy includes refraining from direct sun-gazing or eclipse-viewing.

Diagnosis Diagnosis is made based on history and examination findings including physical/biomicroscopic examination of the fundus, as well as diagnostic imaging, such as FA and OCT.


Obtaining a good history is important for making a clinical diagnosis of solar or photic retinopathy. Sun-gazing, eclipse-viewing, occupational hazards such as welding without a welding helmet or welding goggles, repeated flash-photography, recent cataract extraction or other ophthalmologic operative procedures may be endorsed by the patient or may require pointed interrogation. Furthermore, cognizance on the part of the ophthalmologist of solar and other astronomical phenomena, such as solar eclipse, may aid in teasing out pertinent history from patients that raise suspicion for solar retinopathy.


Symptoms commonly present within hours of exposure and include blurry vision and central or paracentral blind spot in one, or more commonly, both eyes. Additional complaints may include dyschromatopsia, metamorphopsia, micropsia, frontotemporal headache

Signs Decreased Visual Acuity, usually to a level of 20/25 – 20/100, but possibly worse


Observation only.

Medical therapy

No known beneficial treatment exists for solar retinopathy. Prevention is through education is paramount.

Medical Follow-up

Regular follow-up through the acute phase of disease is at the discretion of the physician.


The bulk of visual acuity improvement has been noted to take place in the first 1 and 6 months after the photoxic event.7, 13,14 Despite more moderate vision loss at presentation, most patients ultimately return to a visual acuity level of 20/20-20/40.7 Improvement has been shown to be achieved earlier and more robustly in patients with visual acuity of 0.2 logMAR (20/30 Snellen visual acuity) at presentation.12 Furthermore, a correlation was found between initial visual acuity and fundoscopic appearance 2 weeks after the phototoxic event.12 Unfortunately, metamorphopsia and central or paracentral scotomata, including those that show some improvement initially, may become permanent.7, 14

eyeglasses Lenses Materials
Eyeglasses Lenses Materials
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  • Good general purpose lenses
  • Excellent tintability factor
  • Better UV light protection than glass lenses
  • Covers the widest range prescriptions


    • Most durable lens, impact-resistant*
    • Thinner and lighter than plastic
    • Highly scratch-resistant
    • Provides 99% UV protection

*No lens is shatter-proof or unbreakable


  • durable lens, impact-resistant*
  • Thinner and lighter than plastic
  • Highly scratch-resistant
  • Provides 99% UV protection
  • better clarity than polycarbonate
    *No lens is shatter-proof or unbreakable


  • Super thin and lightweight with better clarity than polycarbonate
  • Slimmer more attractive profile
  • Great for strong prescriptions
How to Wear Contact Lenses
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Nervous? Don’t be. Putting contact lenses in and taking them out is easier than you might think. It may take a few days for your eyes to get used to the feeling of wearing lenses. If you’re having trouble don’t force it, give yourself plenty of time to get comfortable. There’s no rush, you can always try again tomorrow.

Daily Disposable Contact Lenses

Daily disposable contacts are inserted on the eye every morning and thrown away every night, so you don’t need care solutions.

One and done is an easy care routine for many first-time wearers or people with active lifestyles.

2-Week Contact Lenses

Simply clean daily and store in lens solution overnight to maintain safety and cleanliness.

2-week contacts require basic care and upkeep, but also enable you to have one pair for a longer period of time than just a day.

Monthly Contact Lenses

Basic care and upkeep—storing and cleaning in lens solution overnight—allows you to keep them for an extended period of time.

Because you’ll have these longer, they require some amount of responsibility to keep them clean.


Polycarbonate vs. Trivex Eyeglasses
Polycarbonate vs. Trivex Eyeglasses 450 300 jometry1

When Eye Safty  is a concern, polycarbonate or Trivex lenses usually are the best choice for your eyeglasses, sunglasses and sports eyewear.

Both polycarbonate and Trivex lenses are thinner and lighter than regular plastic lenses. They also offer 100 percent protection from the sun’s harmful UV light and are up to 10 times more impact-resistant than plastic or glass lenses.

This combination of lightweight comfort, UV protection and impact resistance also makes these lenses an excellent choice for children’s glasses and safety glasses.

Polycarbonate Lenses

polycarbonate lenses have become the standard for safety glasses, sports goggles and children’s eyewear. Because they are less likely to fracture than regular plastic lenses, polycarbonate lenses also are a good choice for rimless eyewear designs where the lenses are attached to the frame components with drill mountings.

  • Light weight (Up to 20% lighter and thinner than plastic CR-39)
  • Impact-resistant lenses. (up to 10 times more impact-resistant )
  • UV Protection (100% UV Protection So if you chose Polycarbonate Lenses, don’t pay for UV coating )

Trivex Lenses

  • Thickness. Polycarbonate has a higher index of refraction than Trivex (1.58 vs. 1.53), so polycarbonate lenses are about 10 percent thinner than Trivex lenses.
  • Weight. Trivex has a lower specific gravity than polycarbonate, making Trivex lenses about 10 percent lighter than polycarbonate lenses.Index-Comparison
  • Optical clarity (central). Trivex lenses have less internal stress and may produce sharper central vision than polycarbonate lenses.
  • Optical clarity (peripheral). Trivex lenses have a higher Abbe value and may produce sharper peripheral vision with less chromatic aberration than polycarbonate lenses.
  • Impact resistance. Polycarbonate and Trivex lenses have comparable impact resistance.
  • UV protection. Polycarbonate and Trivex lenses both block 100 percent of the sun’s UV rays without the need for special UV-blocking lens coatings.
  • Availability. Polycarbonate lenses are available in a wider variety of lens designs ( progressive lenses and other multifocals) than Trivex lenses.