Thursday, December 29, 2011

Eye Injuries & Radiant Energy

Radiant energy such as ultraviolet radiation, X-rays and infrared radiation can cause eye injuries.

Ultraviolet Radiation
The most common radiation injury encountered results from the absorption of ultraviolet by the cornea. The ultraviolet of the sun is absorbed mainly by the atmosphere. With ultraviolet burns to the cornea there are no immediate symptoms but a few hours later the recipient's eyes begin to water and feel gritty. Later, as the symptoms progress, the foreign body sensation becomes extreme and the patient is in a great deal of pain. Tearing, congestion of the globe and marked photophobia (inability to tolerate light) occur. Staining of the cornea with fluorescein reveals slight pitting of its surface that is caused by erosion of the superficial epithelium.

Infrared Rays
The most common infrared calamity to the eye is an "eclipse burn" to the retina. This follows direct observation of a total eclipse of the sun. The effect of this injury to the retina is marked reduction in visual acuity that is permanent. Ordinary protective devices such as tinted glass, Polaroid lenses and usual filters are of no value in protecting against this hazard. Direct viewing of eclipses should be avoided.

X-rays are of very short wavelength, shorter than ultraviolet radiation and considerably shorter than the visible violet end of the spectrum. Exposure to x-rays can produce many ocular complications, including glaucoma, cataracts, necrosis of the skin, loss of lashes and Iritis. Consequently great care has been taken in the clinical use of x-rays exposure about the eye, to protect the patient from excessive dosage and the hospital staff from unnecessary exposure to dangerous radiation. As a result, the incident rate of eye complications among x-rays and radium workers is extremely low.

Please protect your eyes and your vision and should you be exposed to excessive ultraviolet, infrared or x-rays please do not hesitate to call Doctor & Associates at 203-227-4113.