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Ultraviolet eye radiation: the problem and solutions.

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  • 1College of Optometry, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA.


Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) can cause damage to the eyes. Some of the damage is acute, with immediate signs and symptoms, while some of the damage is the result of cumulative or long-term UVR exposure. Because the most common source of UVR is the sun, individuals who are exposed to sunny environments should be advised to protect themselves properly. Individuals should be counseled about proper eye protection from UVR in sunlight. It is important to know when eye protection is indicated. Protection involves wearing a wide-brimmed hat or cap and well-designed sunglasses. The advisable sunglass features include the following: large eye size with side protection, less than 1% UV-B transmittance, less than 1% UV-A transmittance, gray or near-neutral colored lenses, good optical quality, and visible transmittance selected for visual comfort. Some clear spectacles or contact lenses also provide good levels of UV protection. When selecting sunglasses, it is always helpful to consult your eye care specialist.

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