Light, Lasers, and Synchrotron Radiation

Volume 242 of the series NATO ASI Series pp 237-245

Ultraviolet Radiation and the Eye

  • David H. SlineyAffiliated withLaser Microwave Division, US Army Environmental Hygiene Agency

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


A number of in-vitro laboratory studies have shown that ultraviolet radiation (UVR) can produce optical changes in lens proteins that could explain at least one causal factor in some forms of cataractogenesis [1–7]. Cataracts have also been produced in rabbits from acute exposure to UVR in the 295–320 nanometer (nm) UV spectral band [8–10]. Additionally, several epidemiological and related studies have suggested a relationship between outdoor ambient UVR levels and the incidence of corneal degeneration and senile cataract [11–22]. Weale estimated that a factor of ten in the incidence rate of cataract was due to sunlight [23]. In addition to these delayed effects, one can experience the painful symptoms of snowblindness or welder’s flash (photokeratoconjuctivitis, or simply photokeratitis) from acute UV exposures.