New research confirms link between UV rays and eye cataracts

Exposure to UV rays can lead to an eye cataract

It is well known that exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun can cause skin damage leading to skin cancer. Several studies also show that UV light can increase the risk of cataract and other eye conditions. Now a new study, led by researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, has confirmed that years of sunlight exposure will increase the risk of a cataract, a clouding of the eye lens that typically occurs with aging. The study firms up the link between the sun’s damaging rays and cataract development through a process called oxidative stress; the chemical changes induced in the lens by UV light. “UV light has long been suspected to have a role in cataract formation, but until now the mechanism has not been clear” commented Dr Ram Nagaraj, senior author of the research. Concluding, he said, “our study shows how UV light could promote cataract development and reiterates the importance of wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes the sun’s harmful rays.”