Phototoxicity and the cornea.

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40 Scopus citations


The cornea is sensitive to the effects of ultraviolet (UV) light and can suffer both acute and chronic toxicity. Ultraviolet keratitis is associated with relatively short exposures to light sources such as welding arcs or tanning lamps. The corneal effects are seen within a few hours following exposure and typically will resolve within 72 hours. Chronic exposure to environmental UV light may lead to a variety of ocular surface abnormalities that rarely resolve in the absence of therapy. Ultraviolet light, while potentially destructive, also can be used therapeutically. Recently, the photoablative properties of the excimer laser have been used in corneal refractive surgery. This laser uses UV light to break chemical bonds and remove tissue. Corneal phototoxicity is a reflection of the sensitivity of the ocular surface to photochemical injury. Fortunately, effective protection in the form of UV-blocking lenses is widely available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-583
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the National Medical Association
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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