Exposure to sun "can heighten cataract risk"

Exposure to sun "can heighten cataract risk"

By Adrian Galbreth

Exposing the skin and face to the sun may heighten people"s risk of developing cataracts, according to a new study.

Research published in the August print issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals, revealed the use of medications that increase sensitivity to the sun, combined with exposure to sunlight, appears to be associated with the risk of age-related cataract.

The study noted that sunlight and exposure to ultraviolet-B rays have been shown to be associated with cortical cataract, clouding or opacity occurring first on the outer edges of the lenses.

"Because cortical cataract is a common lens opacity in adults, present in about 16 per cent of the population at the baseline examination, our study findings may be relevant to public health," the authors wrote.

Meanwhile, Dr Vanessa Ewing, an optometrist with the Bennett & Bloom Eye Centers, said it is important for those looking to safeguard their eyes from the sun to buy a product which provides complete vision protection.

by Emily Tait

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