This post might help you if have central serous retinopathy (CSR), sometimes also referred to as central serous choroidopathy (CSC). Because of CSR Sam (the name has been changed) had severe problems with light sensitivity to computer screens and fluorescent lights (but not other sources of light). He found relief in filtering blue light.
If you also suffer from central serous retinopathy and have issues with glare do drop a comment below, for the benefit of others who are also struggling with CSR related light sensitivity. Let us know what has and what hasn’t worked for you!
Disclaimer: My interest in blue blockers comes from my problems with light sensitivity (photophobia), discomfort glare, and computer eye strain.
Disclosure: You can help sustain GLARminY – at no additional cost to you by “giving” a small percentage of anything you buy from Amazon by accessing Amazon here (commission link). Some links below are also commission links, as disclosed. Thanks!
Here is what Sam’s message:
I am an engineer who has had an eye disease called central serous retinopathy for 1.5 years. I also now have photophobia as a result of the retina damage, which has ended my career and put my family in financial hardship. I am no longer able to tolerate more than ~10 minutes of exposure to computer screens or fluorescent lights (almost all workplaces have one or both). I spent over a year going to many doctors and testing many different solutions (Crizal, Gunnar (commission link), cycloplegic prescription, sunglasses, projectors, f.lux, artificial tears, etc) with no improvement in the eye pain.
But then I found your blog randomly about 1 month ago and decided to test the UVEX SCT orange glasses based upon your review and tests. Immediately I could tell these glasses make a very significant difference in my eye pain and I wanted to thank you for literally changing my life! I am currently increasing my screen time to see if I could get back to work full time (perhaps in an environment with mostly natural light).
Because the safety glasses are very uncomfortable, I cut out individual lenses from the glasses and installed them in regular reading glasses, which is a major improvement. After reviewing your spectrograms, it appears to me like the SCT Orange lenses are the best for complete elimination of the majority of the blue light spectrum. Since I don’t care about the perception of color, I wanted to ask if you know of any lenses that provide even more filtering, say up to 600nm?
Again, thank you for your commitment to this topic – I have learned a lot about blue light filters from your blog.
Kind regards, Sam
Should it prove useful to you as well, here is the information I sent him in my reply:
Sam, check out these options:
Carbonshades claim their glasses filter near 100% up to 570nm – it seems reasonable given the red tint of their lenses – quite expensive, though (you can find more available options in the post on Best Blue Blockers).
LowBlueLights are similar to UVEX SCT Orange. They filter near 100% of light up to about 540nm, but offer a few more frames styles.
BPI – this is a tint manufacturer – in the brochure of their therapeutic tints see BPI Monochrome 600nm – it blocks all light up to 600nm – what I don’t know if they sell them retail – maybe you can call them and inquire (I’d love to know what you find out!)
NoIR Medical – offers many tints, they have the spectrograms but not readily available on their website (explain them your problem and ask them to recommend you a tint and send you a spectrogram – you can view the ones they sent me in the above mentioned post on best blue blockers). It seems that their tint 4% Red, #93 might be a candidate for you, but it is hard to tell without seeing the spectrograms.
In our subsequent correspondence Sam provided some more detail about his CSR related light sensitivity, his symptoms of central serous retinopathy, lens tints he’d tried with no improvement, and information about an additional vendor of glasses with near 0% light transmission nearly up to 600nm:
Note: I have tested the Axon FL-41 tint (commission link) with no improvement.
I have no problem at all in sunlight, but I also have no problem with incandescent lights. For sure screens and fluorescent lights are a problem. A smart phone does not bother me too much, but I suspect this is due to the fact that the screens are relatively small. Also, watching television (which I almost never do) is a problem but noticeably less compared to a computer screen. I have a relatively new laptop.
Regarding the actual symptoms, for me I do not have headaches, it’s a dull pain (similar to the sensation of a sinus infection) surrounding the orbit of my left eye (this one had retina damage from CSR). It usually gets triggered in a short time but can take several days to fully relax, so it’s quite difficult to tolerate continuously. If I let it get really bad my left eye will get red and dry as well.
I discovered another company that I thought may be of interest to you (you probably know them but just in case):
SomniLight. They claim to filter all light up to 600nm. They provide a spectrograph in the images of the glasses. I will probably order a set for testing as they are more affordable and offer a return policy.
Here is the spectrogram of SomniLight Migraine Relief Glasses.
Sam told me he ordered a pair, because he still feels some pain with the UVEX SCT Orange glasses (commission link). You may expect an update on how the SomniLight lenses work.
Additional information that may be useful to finding ways to mitigate CSR associated light sensitivity:
- Best blue blocking glasses in style and light filter specs
- Best anti-glare screen protector: Glare free computer lighting
Sam just sent me an update (December 2016) on his recently received SomniLight glasses with the lenses that have filter light up to 600nm.
I’ve been testing the SomniLight glasses and have no major results to share – all I can say is that so much of the spectrum is filtered out that things appear more like black and white with a red tint. Greatly reduced perception of color.
Hence, in Sam’s case filtering longer wavelengths doesn’t seem to produce desired reduction in the eye strain caused by CSR. This means that the problem are only wavelengths up to about 550nm, namely, blue light. (550nm is the cutoff for the SCT Orange glasses (commission link) Sam had been using before purchaing SomniLight glasses).
The question remains: Could the cutoff be lower? For example 500nm or even 480nm.
If Sam (or anyone out there with CSR) trys out such glasses, please lets me know to share it with the rest.
Another update by Sam – great news! (February, 2017):
Many thanks to Sam who’s been kind enough to share his story for the benefit of others who might have a similar condition!!!!
Ps: If you find this post on central serous retinopathy and blue light sensitivity useful, please consider LIKING, REBLOGGING, and/or SHARING it below.
3 thoughts on “Central serous retinopathy (CSR), Photophobia and Blue light”
Thanks for your blog, I have CSR as well. In my right eye last year which went away after about 6 months, but now i have it on my left eye and I am having the same issue with computer screens and lighting at work. I have missed a lot of time at work and am going to give the recommended glasses a try.
Central Serous Retinopathy (CSR) almost cure?
Revised April 30, 2017
My conclusion after 20 years of experience with CSR:
CSR is mostly a stress condition. One stressful event or overall stress will cause it, Also high cortisone levels. The more you focus on it, the worse it will get. It may be associated with high cortisone and possibly Cushing syndrome, insomnia, stress and hypertension.
My Action plan:
1. Avoid Stress. Try stress reduction-meditation, etc.. Get enough sleep.
2. Avoid excess salt (sodium), Crackers, sodas, pizza, etc. (salt has stimulating qualities and can worsen insomnia, hypertension, edema, etc.). It seems to make my CSR worse.
3. Avoid all stimulants, caffeine, tea, tobacco, herbal stimulants, albuterol, Etc
4. Some Studies have shown taking vitamins and supplements may make CSR worse or have no effect. Avoid most of them. Most herbs and vitamins seem to make my eves worse.
5. Avoid all forms of Cortisone.
6. Exercise, walk, swim, get a hobby that does not require eye strain or videos.
7. Avoid excess computer, smart phone, TV, Video usage.
8. Do Bates eye exercises (Bates Method). See YouTube for instructions. Do sunning with eyes closed, palming and swings.
9. Work Reflexology eye points around the toes, see chart below.
10. Monitor your blood pressures and stress level.
11. Work Eye acupressure points, see chart below and Google.
12. Eat spinach and some form of blueberries 3 times a week to avoid macular degeneration.
13. Find yourself a good Retina specialist.
Work Reflexology eye and ear points or any sore points around the toes:
Bates method (eye exercises), see YouTube.com for a demonstration:
1. Long Swings 5 to 10 minutes 2 to 3x per day.
2. Palming 5 to 10 minutes 2 to 3x per day.
3. Sunning with eyes shut only.
Most vitamin, herbs and supplements seem to make my eye worse, Q10, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Etc..
Potassium (Potassium chloride) in small doses (99MG) or less is the only one that seemed to help me reduce the distortion/fluid buildup. It costs about $5 for a bottle of 100 tablets. Always take potassium with food to avoid an upset stomach. Warning Potassium chloride is extremely toxic in large doses. Check with your doctor before using. Other forms of potassium may or may not work. The Potassium seems to reduce my distortion and fluid buildup however it may or may not result in a seal of the leak or a complete resolution.
Google “eye acupressure” for more details. Work acupressure points around eyes:
The above instructions have shortened my CSR duration by weeks or months.
The more you focus on CSR, the worse it will get and the longer it will take to resolve.
I am not a doctor. I do not treat, diagnose or prescribe. If you have any illness, please refer to a medical doctor for advice. The above text is for information use only. I have no conflict of interest. Anyone may copy, email or distribute this document without changing or modifying it.
Anonymous, thanks – hopefully it helps others with CSR!