Q:

Are book lamps recommended for people with cataracts?

A:

Quick Answer

Introducing additional lighting, including book lamps, into the home or workspace is recommended for those who experience early cataract symptoms. Some people with cataracts report an increased sensitivity to bright light, so it is important to select the proper type of light bulb, according to the Maloney Vision Institute.

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Are book lamps recommended for people with cataracts?
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Full Answer

Because cataracts directly interfere with the passage of light into the eye, the type of lighting and the positioning of the light source can have a large impact on the vision of those with cataracts. The sun's natural light can improve vision, when filtered through proper eye protection, blinds, sheer curtains or tinted windows, according to the Maloney Vision Institute. For electric lighting, fluorescent bulbs are recommended because they do not burn very hot and create fewer shadows than incandescent bulbs. It is suggested that people with cataracts face their backs to any light source to cut back on glare and light scattering.

Light scattering occurs in dark conditions when the pupil of the eye dilates to improve night vision and the edges of the cataract become exposed and scatter light coming into the eye. When this happens, those with cataracts commonly see a halo or starburst around the source of the light. Other effects include dimmed vision, double vision and a loss of contrast. Darker objects on a light background, such as words on pages, may become increasingly difficult to read and see without proper lighting.

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