Light and macular degeneration: a biophysical and clinical perspective

Eye (Lond). 1987;1 ( Pt 2):304-10. doi: 10.1038/eye.1987.49.


The evidence linking photic retinopathy to ageing macular degeneration (AMD) is compelling but circumstantial. The biophysical foundations of ageing theory are presented, in addition to an analysis of retinal senescence and the potential contributory role of photochemical retinal damage. Although there is pressure to implement clinical therapy for AMD based on laboratory studies of photic retinopathy, there is no evidence at this time that any such therapy is effective. Nonetheless, until the relationship between photic retinopathy and AMD is better understood, it is appropriate for individuals to use ultraviolet and deep blue protective sunglasses in bright environments, particularly if they have reduced ocular pigmentation or if they are aphakes or pseudophakes without an ultraviolet-protective intraocular lens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / radiation effects*
  • Eyeglasses
  • Humans
  • Light / adverse effects*
  • Macular Degeneration / etiology*
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / radiation effects
  • Retina / radiation effects*