Ocular straylight is a phenomenon where parts of the eye scatter light, creating glare. It is analogous to stray light in other optical systems; scattered light reaches the retina but does not contribute to forming a correct image.
One can observe the effect of straylight by looking at a distant bright light source against a dark background. If the source is small, it would look like a small bright spot if the eye imaged it perfectly. Scattering in the eye makes the source appear spread out, surrounded by glare. The disability glare caused by such a situation has been found to correspond precisely to the effect of true light.[clarification needed] As a consequence, disability glare was subsequently defined by this true light, called "straylight".[clarification needed]
Straylight can differ considerably between individuals. Aging of the crystalline lens of the human eye causes straylight to become worse. Lens extraction and artificial lens implantation is an effective treatment.
Less common causes for straylight include:
- Diseases of the cornea, e.g. Fuchs' dystrophy.
- Lack of pigmentation, e.g. albinism.
- Laser refractive surgery, with occasional haze formation.
- Excessive floaters in the vitreous humour.
- Contact lenses.
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- Van den Berg TJTP et al. "Straylight effects with aging and lens extraction". Am J Ophthalmol. 2007;144:358-363
- Van der Meulen IJ et al. "Quality of vision in patients with Fuchs Endothelial dystrophy and after DSEK". Arch Ophthalmol 2011
- Kruijt B et al. "Ocular straylight in albinism". Optom Vis Sc 2011;88:E585-E592
- Van Bree MC et al. "Straylight values after refractive surgery". Ophthalmology 2011;118:945-953.
- Mura M et al. "Surgery for floaters". Ophthalmology 2011;118:1894
- Van der Meulen IJ et al. "Straylight measurement in contact lens wear". Cornea 2010;29:516-522