Preferences help
enabled [disable] Abstract
Number of results
2012 | 59 | 1 | 91-96
Article title

Light distributions on the retina: relevance to macular pigment photoprotection

Title variants
Languages of publication
Light exposure has been implicated in age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This study was designed to measure cumulative light distribution on the retina to determine whether it peaked in the macula. An eye-tracker recorded the subject's field of view and pupil size, and superimposed the gaze position. Fifteen naïve subjects formed a test group; 5 formed a control group. In phase 1, all subjects viewed a sequence of photographic images. In phase 2, the naïve subjects observed a video; in phase 3, they performed computer tasks; in phase 4, the subjects walked around freely. In phase 1, control subjects were instructed to gaze at bright features in the field of view and, in a second test, at dark features. Test group subjects were allowed to gaze freely for all phases. Using the subject's gaze coordinates, we calculated the cumulative light distribution on the retina. As expected for control subjects, cumulative retinal light distributions peaked and dipped in the fovea when they gazed at bright or dark features respectively in the field of view. The light distribution maps obtained from the test group showed a consistent tendency to peak in the macula in phase 3, a variable tendency in phase 4, but little tendency in phases 1 and 2. We conclude that a tendency for light to peak in the macula is a characteristic of some individuals and of certain tasks. In these situations, risk of AMD could be increased but, at the same time, mitigated by the presence of macular carotenoids.
Physical description
  • Department of Physics, Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA
  • Department of Physics, Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA
  • Department of Physics, Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA
  • Barker F, Snodderly D, Johnson E, Schalch W, Koepcke W, Gerss J, Neuringer M (2011) Nutritional manipulation of primate retinas, V: Effects of lutein, zeaxanthin, and n-3 fatty acids on retinal sensitivity to blue-light-induced damage. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 52: 3934-3942.
  • Beatty S, Koh HH, Phil M, Henson DB, Boulton M (2000) The role of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration. Surv Ophthalmol 45: 115-134.
  • Bone RA, Brener B, Gibert JC (2007) Macular pigment, photopigments and melanin: distributions in young subjects determined by four-wavelength reflectometry. Vis Res 47: 3259-3268.
  • Bone RA, Landrum JT, Cains A (1992) Optical density spectra of the macular pigment in vivo and in vitro. Vis Res 32: 105-110.
  • Chucair A, Rotstein N, SanGiovanni J, During A, Chew E, Politi L (2007) Lutein and zeaxanthin protect photoreceptors from apoptosis induce by oxidative stress: relation with docosahexanoic acid. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 48: 5168-5177.
  • Cruickshanks KJ, Klein R, Klein BE (1993) Sunlight and age-related macular degeneration. Arch Ophthalmol 111: 514-518.
  • Darzins P, Mitchell P, Heller RF (1997) Sun exposure and age-related macular degeneration: An Australian case-control study. Ophthalmology 104: 770-776.
  • Delcourt C, Carrière I, Ponton-Sanchez A, Fourrey S, Lacroux A, Papoz L (2001) Light exposure and the risk of age-related macular degeneration. The Pathologies Oculaires Liées à l'Age (POLA) Study. Arch Ophthalmol 119: 1463-1468.
  • Eye Disease Case-Control Study Group (1992) Risk factors for age-related macular degeneration. Arch Ophthalmol 110: 1701-1708.
  • Fletcher A, Bentham G, Agnew M, Young I, Augood C, Chakravarthy U, de Jong P, Rahu M, Seland J, Soubrane G, Tomazzoli L, Topouzis F, Vingerling J, Vioque J (2008) Sunlight exposure, antioxidants, and age-related macular degeneration. Arch Ophthalmol 126: 1396-1403.
  • Friedman DS, O'Colmain BJ, Munoz B, Tomany SC, McCarty CA, de Jong PT, Nemesure B, Mitchell P, Kempen J, Congdon N (2004) Prevalence of age-related macular degeneration in the United States. Arch Ophthalmol 122: 564-572.
  • Kooijman AC (1983) Light distribution on the retina of a wide-angle theoretical eye. J Opt Soc Am 73: 1544-1550.
  • Mann A (1993) Age-related macular degeneration: a review of the effects of light, oxidation and nutrition. S Afr Optom 52: 113-117.
  • McCarty CA, Mukesh BN, Fu CL, Mitchell P, Wang JJ, Taylor HR (2001) Risk factors for age-related maculopathy. The visual impairment project. Arch Ophthalmol 119: 1455-1462.
  • Mitchell P, Smith W, Wang JJ (1998) Iris color, skin sun sensitivity, and age-related maculopathy: The blue mountains eye study. Ophthalmology 105: 1359-1363.
  • Pflibsen K, Pomerantzeff O, Ross R (1988) Retinal illuminance using a wide-angle model of the eye. J Opt Soc Am A 5: 146-150.
  • Schalch W (1992) Carotenoids in the retina - a review of their possible role in preventing or limiting damage caused by light and oxygen. In Free radicals and aging. Emerit I, Chance B, eds, pp 280-298. Birkhauser, Basel.
  • Snodderly DM, Mares JA, Wooten BR, Oxton L, Gruber M, Ficek T (2004) Macular pigment measurements by heterochromatic flicker photometry in older subjects: the carotenoids and age-related eye disease study. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 45: 531-538.
  • Taylor H, West S, Munoz B, Rosenthal F, Bressler S, Bressler N (1992) The long-term effects of visible light on the eye. Arch Ophthalmol 110: 99-104.
  • Van Norren D, Vos J (1974) Spectral transmission of the human ocular media. Vis Res 14: 1237-1244.
  • Vojniković B, Njirić S, Coklo M, Spanjol J (2007) Ultraviolet sun radiation and incidence of age-related macular degeneration on Croatian Island of Rab. Coll Antropol 31 (Suppl 1): 43-44.
  • Young RW (1988) Solar radiation and age-related macular degeneration. Surv Ophthalmol 32: 252-269.
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.