Solar Maculopathy Secondary to Sunlight Exposure Reflected From the Screen of Mobile Devices

Two Case Reports

Joaquín Marticorena; Ana Honrubia; Javier Ascaso


J Med Case Reports. 2022;16(388) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: Solar maculopathy is a well described clinical entity that usually occurs in patients that have gazed directly the sun. In this report we describe the first two cases of solar maculopathy in individuals exposed to sunlight reflected from the screen of mobile devices in the absence of direct sun gaze.

Cases Description: Case 1. A 30-year-old Caucasic man presented with bilateral metamorphopsia, central scotoma and decreased visual acuity two days after being reading for four hours with his tablet computer in a terrace of a ski center. Case 2. A 20-year-old Caucasic woman was examined for bilateral decrease of visual acuity and central scotoma after being at the beach the day before and reading with her mobile phone for 3 hours. Both patients denied gazing directly to sunlight at any moment. In each case, exploration revealed fundus and OCT images compatible with the typical features of solar maculopathy. After 2 years of follow-up, in absence of any specific treatment, Case 1 had a complete resolution of the fundus alterations, while Case 2 still presented defects of the outer retinal layers. In both cases, an exposure to sunlight reflected from the screen of their mobile devices was documented in environments where solar radiation is thought to be augmented.

Conclusion: Sunlight reflection from a display screen needs to be considered as a possible risk factor for increased solar radiation and a subsequent risk of solar maculopathy.