Sun and Eye Health [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Sun and Eye Health


Paxton
03-19-2007, 08:44 AM
Read an article in the health section in this morning's paper (Worcester Telegram and Gazette)....and just thought I'd share a brief summary, given how much time we all spend on the water in the sun. Night fishermen need not read any further:)

The article speaks to losing night vision as we age and what contributes to it even further. I suggest that all you young FF read carefully.

Some facts:
- retina contains rods and cones...rods provide only black and white images and are what is directly related to night vision
- as we age, the muscles controling the widening of the eyes to let in more light
slowly weaken, thus pupils remain smaller instead of widening (nothing we can do about that)
- by age 50, we naturally lose almost a 1/3 of our rods (eyes, not fishing rods)
- thus "dark adaptation" takes longer and we also become more sensitive to sudden bright lights (like headlights of cars)
- #1 recommendation is "to protect our eyes" by "wearing sunglasses in all daylight hours (neutral grey/anti-reflective recommended) and a hat with a brim. (Personally I wear photo grey lenses/anti-reflective, that adjust to light automatically all the time)
- it normally (in a healthy/young eye) takes about 1/2 hr for the eyes to fully adjust to darkness from light.......if one is in bright sunlight for 2 or 3 hrs....it can delay "full adaptation" to dark for up the for 2 to 3 hours. Doesn't mention 8 hours of fishing on the flats in the sun.
- "the longer you stay in the sun, the worse your night vision gets"
- "over the years, exposure to bright sunlight, bleaches out the cones, further limiting night vision adaptation"!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So......we all need to protect our eyes if we desire to fish till we are ancient and still want to do the long drive home. I personally switched to polarized wrap arounds for fishing, 3 years ago at the recommendation of my optomotrist and the reduction of glare from the sides was emense. And wind too...no more dry eyes.

If you already are having night vision issues...the article suggests the following:
- clean your windshield in and out and glasses to reduce refraction of light
- clean your headlight to increase illumination of the road
- don't look directly at on coming headlights
I may add.....find a young pup to fish with and let him drive home :)

Now that I'm older, I remember all the stupid things that I did to my body when younger...like lifting objects meant for superman....17 years of jogging almost everyday on tar roads...never using sunscreen when fishing when younger....all have caused me issues and I'm sure that I am not alone:frown:

Wish this post was a report on my day's fishing....but given it's still winter...it's the best that I can do. Hope some of you find it helpful and follow the article's recommendations....because some day....it will happen to you. Someday to the young is "in a 100 yrs'....to some of us, it's yesterday.
Ron