[Light exposition in vitreoretinal surgery. I. Basics].Ophthalmologe 2008; 105(10):898-900, 902-4O
Due to its function of light perception, the eye is exposed to high levels of radiation of the optical spectrum. Most of the ultraviolet and infrared radiation is absorbed in the cornea and lens, and mostly only radiation of the visible spectrum can reach the retina. Visible light can cause retinal damage by photomechanical, photothermal, and photochemical mechanisms. The most important mechanism of light damage to the retina under daily conditions or when using ophthalmologic light sources is the photochemical light toxicity caused by light-induced chemical reactions. The extent of damage depends on several factors, such as wavelength, exposure time, and irradiance. Particularly the shorter portion of the visible light spectrum (blue light) is responsible for photochemical damage to the retina.