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October 1984

Solar Retinopathy: A Biophysical Analysis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (Dr A. C. Sadun); Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston (Dr A. A. Sadun); and the Department of Physics, University of California at Berkeley (Dr L. A. Sadun). Dr. A. A. Sadun is now with the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Estelle Doheny Eye Institute, Los Angeles.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1984;102(10):1510-1512. doi:10.1001/archopht.1984.01040031230024

• Funduscopic examination of two young adults complaining of blurred vision revealed small symmetrical macular lesions suggestive of solar retinopathy. Although both patients had recently looked at the sun for less than one minute, it is common to look at the sun for longer periods (ie, sunsets) without incurring visual symptoms of retinal lesions. Our biophysical analysis revealed the important parameters of solar retinopathy and the minimum exposure to the sun that would produce such lesions. Under ideal optical conditions, solar retinopathy can occur following extremely short observations of the sun.

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