Researchers describe how UV increases cataract risk
A new study in the US has detailed the mechanism by which chronic exposure to sunlight can increase the risk of cataract.
While previous studies have confirmed a correlation between UV exposure and cataract risk, exactly how UV effects the cornea was not fully understood.
Using a mouse model, researchers from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio have now offered a detailed view of how UV creates chemical changes which can lead to cataract.
The study, which was part-funded by the US’ National Eye Institute, found that exposure to UV light can damage lens proteins in a distinctive way – known as glycation – which is typically seen in cells damaged by oxidative stress. It appears that UV can effectively 'substitute' for oxygen, acting as a trigger for harmful oxidative reactions in the cornea.
Ram Nagaraj, professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at Case Western and the study's senior author 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."
The study was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry
(Taken From Optometry Today www.optometry.co.uk)