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How to avoid getting affected by various types of glare

June 24, 2013

Glare while in the sun
Many of us have experienced the glare of the sun. We tend to close our eyelids in order to block off the excessive light. Driving and sports (such as golf, tennis, boating and fishing) become more strenuous for the eyes in the bright sun.

The simple remedy to reduce this type of glare is to wear sunglasses. Choose a pair that curves to fit your face (“wraps around” your face) as this will reduce the amount of light entering through the sides.

Sunlight still gets to the eyes from the side of these sunglasses

Sunlight still gets to the eyes from the side of these sunglasses


These wrap-around sunglasses give more protection

These wrap-around sunglasses give more protection

These days there are also sunglasses that can be worn over a pair of prescriptive glasses. These look more box –like in shape and may not appeal to those who want to look fashionable, but they serve the purpose of reducing the amount of sunlight that is entering into our eyes from the top and sides.

sunglass fitover

In addition to protecting the eyes from glare, sunglasses are also vital in reducing the amount of ultra-violet (UV) light entering the eye. Excessive exposure to UV can lead to eye problems such as cataract. It is therefore vital to wear a pair of sunglasses that has 100% UV protection. Ask your optometrist the next time you visit the optical store for sunglasses that have good UV protection. Do note that a darker shade of sunglasses does not necessarily mean better UV protection.


Glare from sunlight reflected off shiny surfaces

Sunlight that is reflected off water or snow can be very glaring. The best type of sunglasses to reduce such glare is to use polarized sunglasses. This refers to a type of lens that can block light rays in one meridian and let in light rays of the other meridian, 90 degrees to the one being blocked.

Please read this other blog post of mine to learn about polarized sunglasses: click HERE.

Polarized glasses are great when used to view reflective surfaces. They reduce the glare from such surfaces and allow a person to see better. Here are examples of some activities when polarized sunglasses will come in very useful:

  1. Driving on wet roads
  2. Fishing
  3. Boating
  4. Skiing


Glare at night

The best example of such glare is those we experience while driving on a dimly lit road with the headlamps of oncoming cars shining into our eyes.  Those with high short-sightedness, high astigmatism and naturally large pupils in the dim light are more susceptible to this type of glare. Ensuring that your glasses or contact lenses are of the appropriate degree will help minimize the amount of glare. Do not compromise on safety – for those that are not comfortable with the amount of glare, it is better not to drive on dimly lit roads.


Glare from screens of devices

With the advancement of technology, it is probable that all of us have a device in front of us for a certain length of time each day. This may be a television, a computer screen, a laptop or a smart phone. The more time we spend staring at such screens, the more likely we are to suffer from glare if the lighting is inappropriate.

Tips for using such devices:
(1) Adjust the brightness and contrast till it is comfortable to your eyes

(2) Always have adequate lighting in the room while using such devices

(3) Turn the device away from sunlight that reflects off the screen and into your eyes.

(4) Do not sit too near. For example, it is good to use the computer about 50 cm away.


You may also be interested in these other posts:

(1) Why does glare affect us more as we age?

(2) Protect your eyes from ultraviolet light rays

(3) Good eye care habits

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