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Cataracts and Ultraviolet Light

Topic Overview

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation, such as sunlight, is absorbed by the lens of the eye. It can cause chemicals called free radicals to form inside the lens. Over time, free radicals may damage the lens. This can cause cataracts.

Some people are exposed to too much sunlight and may be more likely to form cataracts. This can be because of their profession, such as agricultural workers. It may be because of where they live, such as in sunny parts of the country. Or it may be because they use tanning booths or sunlamps.

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

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Carol L. Karp, MD - Ophthalmology
Current as of August 8, 2013

Current as of: August 8, 2013

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