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Ultraviolet Light Exposure and Cataracts

 

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation, such as sunlight, is absorbed by the lens of the eye and can lead to the formation of chemicals called free radicals inside the lens. Over time, free radicals may damage the lens, causing cataracts .

People exposed to excessive amounts of sunlight because of their profession (such as agricultural workers), geographic area (such as sunny parts of the country), or use of tanning booths or sunlamps may be more likely to form cataracts.

It is not known for sure whether reducing UV exposure helps prevent cataracts.

 

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Carol L. Karp, MD - Ophthalmology
Last Revised August 24, 2011

Last Revised: August 24, 2011

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