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Eye protection for ultraviolet B phototherapy and psoralen ultraviolet A patients

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We tested eye protection used for phototherapy patients. The study also established current practice concerning eye protection in a sample of UK phototherapy units. Methods:

The ultraviolet (UV) transmission spectra of 30 ‘UV protective’ contact lenses were measured at 5 nm intervals between 290 and 400 nm. Sunglasses, small UV goggles and UV visors were tested between 270 and 420 nm. We surveyed the use of eye protection during phototherapy in 78 UK phototherapy units. Results:

All samples of sunglasses, eye protection goggles, visors and sunglasses comfortably passed previously published arbitrary limits of acceptability. Most contact lenses showed some protection in the UVB, but most had little or no UVA protection. Of 78 UK phototherapy units 21 (33%) use tinted goggles during UV exposures, two (3%) use a visor only, 28 (43%) use both and nine (14%) use clear plastic (probably polycarbonate) goggles. Conclusions:

UV transmission for sunglasses and contact lenses is lower compared with samples tested 10 years ago. All samples of glasses, goggles and visors tested provided adequate protection in the UV range according to published arbitrary limits of acceptability. Most contact lenses did not provide significant UV protection in the UVA range.

Keywords: PUVA; contact lenses; eye protection; phototherapy; sunglasses; ultraviolet light

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Dermatology, Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, UK 2: Department of Ophthalmology, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, Kent, UK 3: Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Gloucester, UK 4: Welsh Institute of Dermatology, Cardiff, UK 5: Chalmers Opticians, Cardiff, UK

Publication date: 2010-06-01

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