Disability glare: effects of temporal characteristics of the glare source and of the visual-field location of the test stimulus

J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis. 1995 Oct;12(10):2252-8. doi: 10.1364/josaa.12.002252.


One of the main early complaints of cataract patients, even when these patients exhibit only mild glare problems as measured by standard tests, is that glare impairs their night driving. To provide a better measure of the patients' impairment, glare tests should include measurements of the glare effect in conditions more similar to those found in night driving. During night driving the ambient light is very low, and oncoming headlights present a transient temporal pattern. Furthermore, the objects of interest often appear initially in the peripheral visual field. Thus three important characteristics of glare in night driving are that the ambient illuminance is in the scotopic-mesopic range, the detection stimulus is in the periphery, and the glare source is transient. Most of the current glare testers measure glare only at photopic levels, and all the glare tests that we know of use only steady sources of glare with foveal discriminations. All these conditions are dealt with. The transient glare source raised thresholds by 0.5-0.75 log unit more than the steady glare source, and the transient glare effect was more pronounced and more long lasting in the periphery. Standard glare testers seriously underestimate disability glare effects in everyday life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Ocular
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Automobile Driving
  • Humans
  • Light*
  • Middle Aged
  • Sensory Thresholds / physiology
  • Vision Disorders / diagnosis
  • Vision Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Vision Tests / methods*
  • Visual Fields / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology