10 doctors weighed in:
What happens to your eyes if you are in the dark for a long period of time and then exposed to light?
10 doctors weighed in

Dr. Andrew Shatz
Ophthalmology
7 doctors agree
In brief: Nothing dangerous
Eyes adapt to both light and dark fairly easily.
In the dark, the pupils dilate to allow in whatever light there might be, and the retina's dark-seeing receptors (rods) are capturing the images you see. Once you enter the light, the pupils constrict rapidly and forcefully which may cause temporary discomfort. You may also find things excessively bright, but there is no danger in healthy eyes.

In brief: Nothing dangerous
Eyes adapt to both light and dark fairly easily.
In the dark, the pupils dilate to allow in whatever light there might be, and the retina's dark-seeing receptors (rods) are capturing the images you see. Once you enter the light, the pupils constrict rapidly and forcefully which may cause temporary discomfort. You may also find things excessively bright, but there is no danger in healthy eyes.
Dr. Andrew Shatz
Dr. Andrew Shatz
Thank
Dr. Gary Hirshfield
Ophthalmology
2 doctors agree
In brief: Dark adaptation
The pupils will constrict when going from dark to light to decreased the light coming in.
This is immediate.Retinal adaptation is slower.You may notice that when you go into a dark room your ability to see slowly increases.This is retinal adaptation.Conversly when going from dark to light things will seem too bright until the retina adapts.Typically your eyes will not be harmed by normal light.

In brief: Dark adaptation
The pupils will constrict when going from dark to light to decreased the light coming in.
This is immediate.Retinal adaptation is slower.You may notice that when you go into a dark room your ability to see slowly increases.This is retinal adaptation.Conversly when going from dark to light things will seem too bright until the retina adapts.Typically your eyes will not be harmed by normal light.
Dr. Gary Hirshfield
Dr. Gary Hirshfield
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Adam Levy
Board Certified, Obstetrics & Gynecology
33 years in practice
1M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors