Electromagnetic radiation includes radio waves, microwaves, infra-red (heat), visible light, ultraviolet, x-rays, and gamma rays. For most of the public, ultraviolet exposure from the sun is the main radiation threat to eye health. Years of UV exposure can cause cataracts and other serious problems. For radiologists, medical technicians, and others who use x-ray equipment, x-ray exposure adds yet another eye health risk.
Unlike radio waves, microwaves, infra-red, visible light, and the less energetic forms of ultraviolet, x-rays are ionizing. This means they contain enough energy to knock electrons off of molecules. This causes ionization and makes molecules highly reactive. When molecules in your eyes are ionized, they chemically react in ways that can cause cell damage, cell death, abnormal cell duplication, and cell mutation. A common eye problem that can occur from repeated low-level exposure to x-rays is cataracts.
A cataract is a clouded eye lens that has partially or fully lost its transparency. If not treated surgically, it can cause blindness. In fact, cataracts are the most common form of blindness in the older population. What this means to the person routinely exposed to x-rays is that they likely have a higher risk of developing the condition than the general population if they don’t wear eye protection.
Even though x-ray equipment don’t target the user, she or he may nevertheless receive low doses from x-ray scattering effects. Frequent exposure to scattered x-rays can cause cumulative damage over the long-term. This is why x-ray technologists are at a higher risk of developing x-ray induced cataracts than patients who receive x-ray exposure sporadically during their lifetimes.
VS Eyewear offers a wide variety of comfortable radiation safety glasses. These include wraparound frames, goggles, frames that fit over prescription glasses, and prescription radiation glasses. Protect your vision from occupational exposure to x-rays with radiation safety glasses. For more information and answers to your questions, contact us today.