Glare can be described as “extreme brightness” from the presence of excessive visible light. Glare can be distracting and even dangerous and can occur day or night in a number of ways. It can cause you to squint, resulting in eye strain and eye fatigue. In extreme cases, glare can even result in temporary blindness.
There are four types of glare to be aware of:
Distracting glare can be caused by car headlights or streetlights at night. It can also be as simple as light being reflected off the front of your lenses making it difficult for others to see your eyes. Similarly, it may be from light reflected off the back – or inside – of your lenses so that you see the distracting reflection of your own eyes of objects behind you in your forward field of vision. As a result, this kind of glare may cause eye fatigue, annoyance and distraction.
Glare can be caused by everyday, normal sunlight conditions. Depending upon one’s light sensitivity, this glare can be discomforting regardless of weather or time of day. It can be present in any level or intensity of light, or when moving from one lighting condition to another. Discomforting glare often causes squinting and eye fatigue.
This type of glare comes from excessive, intense light that can occur when you face directly into the sun. Disabling glare can block vision because the intense light can cause significantly reduced contrast of the retinal image. The latent effects can last well beyond the time of exposure.
Blinding or reflected glare
This comes from light reflected off smooth, shiny surfaces such as water, sand or snow. It can be strong enough to block vision. Reflected light is polarized and requires polarized lenses to reduce it optimally.