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Pondering Light Sensitivity




This isn't a situation where your eyes are actually sensitive to normal light levels.

I'm pondering the fact that, aside from when the sun is out, I don't have a lot of light on in my place. It's dark right now because it's so early and the time of season is when most of us spend significantly more time without the sun. I've woken up in the dark and the only faint light source is the light strip along the underside of my kitchen cupboards, plus the dim nightlight in my bathroom. One time even that was too much and I was left squinting through one eye.

I haven't turned on any lights and I've been awake for 30 minutes. The light strip in the kitchen is bright enough to do a lot without having to turn on the brighter overhead light. I haven't turned on the lamp in my living room. I actually found the light on my laptop was quite bright and usually, I have f.lux running overtime making my screen look jaundiced and the light level is still quite low.

I find I can see quite well in low light environments. I kind of wonder if this, in a sense, makes me more sensitive to brighter environments?

Something similar has happened where I've been wearing sunglasses all the time when I go outside. To a point, going outside without them actually makes my eyes hurt and I can't see very well at all because my eyes are streaming and stinging. I adjust after several minutes and it's not as bad, but I usually make sure I NEVER forget my sunglasses. They're a brown tint and actually almost make things stand out more than the grey tint you can get. They're polarized and I think that also enhances objects... I find I can wear them inside because, sadly, it's often bright enough with the lights. I just look a bit odd because everyone assumes the sunglasses must make everything so dark. I don't find that's the case at all, it just cuts down on the intensity of the light.

I expect when I get older things will change.

I just wonder if, by rarely subjecting myself to light and choosing to function in a dim environment, if I've conditioned my sight to function at lower light levels.



7 blog comments below

I think a simile would be when one turns off all the lights and for the first few moments everything is pitch dark, until one's eyes adjust and one realizes it's not completely dark. Having said that, I don't think it's necessarily healthy. One should consciously try and get more light as the light in the eyes plays a role in one's moods. The melatonin thing. Think some people use light lamps (SAD lamps) with good effect at this time of the year. Here's an example of a lamp:
https://www.sad.co.uk/en-UK/Litepod-Company-Diamond-2-SAD-Light/25360sdmp.htm
deanhills on Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:02 am
Woah. I think I've seen one of those at work. Someone has a small one sitting on their desk. I had no idea what it was until now. I thought maybe it was a weird sort of heater? I've never seen it on though. This person wasn't always in our area, they were in another building with the other half of the department.
TheGremlyn on Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:08 pm
I am the same. Always wearing sunglasses and a hat when outside. Walking around the house at night with only residual lighting. I have my electronics brightness and contrast adjusted way down (helps save them too).

I don't think that will change when you get older. I am ancient and not seeing a change.
standready on Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:55 pm
Same here. I've got a reading lamp next to my computer but for the rest of the room it's completely dark. I also like to have sun bloc curtains in the UAE where the sun is quite harsh and same here now in South Africa. Blocking the sun is cooling of course using less AC in the UAE and at least working against the heat in the apartment that I'm in. It's summer here and the long hours of baking sun can really heat things up indoors, particularly when there is no insulation in the ceiling as in my case. I should be wearing a hat outside, but for some or other reason I like the sun when I'm outside. It's the only Vitamin D one can count on. My eyes are very sensitive to light so too much brightness can be irritating - I wear sun glasses all of the time when I'm outside. Razz
deanhills on Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:54 am
Oddly when I try to search "I prefer low light" I find more about low light house plants... I was probably looking for this stuff in the past because of the space we moved to. There's very little natural light in the space (no windows except down the hall).

I found one article that thought people are more creative in low light environments. People feel free from constraints. I could see how being in low light might allow you to focus more. Brighter environments probably allow for more distractions because if you look around you can see more of the space. Your focus might shift and you might lose your train of thought.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2344577/Dimming-lights-increase-creativity-making-feel-free-constraints.html

I only thought of light sensitivity because... it wasn't until I had benefits and I happened by an eyewear store that had a buy one get one free deal, that I bought a pair of sunglasses. I never really wore them before. When I started wearing sunglasses anytime I was out I found it was unbearable to go without. I was squinting all the time. My eyes would sting and water up. I was just so used to a certain intensity of light after a while.
TheGremlyn on Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:13 am
TheGremlyn wrote:
I found one article that thought people are more creative in low light environments. People feel free from constraints. I could see how being in low light might allow you to focus more. Brighter environments probably allow for more distractions because if you look around you can see more of the space. Your focus might shift and you might lose your train of thought.
That's amazing and spot on for me. Just looking at your more advanced countries in the world, like Europe and North America and Japan - they're the countries with longer winters and generally less daylight hours than countries in the south. In Europe it's the countries in the south with longer daylight hours that are poorer and struggling. Ditto South America and Africa. There has to be something to it.
deanhills on Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:48 pm
Not very often but sometimes I walk by the offices and I'll see a faculty member working with just a simple desk lamp. The office is very dim and they're just working away. I wish I could work in lower light. It's just... more relaxing. Aside from when someone comes to us in person... but since I'm dealing with technology all the time we're almost always looking at screens. I'm not saying it would be so dim we couldn't see what we were doing if we had to work on the hardware of a staff computer. Maybe someday... well, not in the position I'm in.
TheGremlyn on Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:45 am



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