Retinal light toxicity

Eye (Lond). 2011 Jan;25(1):1-14. doi: 10.1038/eye.2010.149. Epub 2010 Oct 29.


The ability of light to enact damage on the neurosensory retina and underlying structures has been well understood for hundreds of years. While the eye has adapted several mechanisms to protect itself from such damage, certain exposures to light can still result in temporal or permanent damage. Both clinical observations and laboratory studies have enabled us to understand the various ways by which the eye can protect itself from such damage. Light or electromagnetic radiation can result in damage through photothermal, photomechanical, and photochemical mechanisms. The following review seeks to describe these various processes of injury and many of the variables, which can mitigate these modes of injury.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Light / adverse effects*
  • Radiation Injuries / etiology*
  • Retina / physiopathology
  • Retina / radiation effects*
  • Retinal Degeneration / etiology
  • Retinal Diseases / etiology*
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects