There are several risks with leaving the eyes unprotected from x-ray radiation exposure. At the time of unprotected x-ray radiation exposure, most people do not experience any pain. However, it is very common to experience a dull pain in exposed tissues, including the eyes, within 1 to 3 hours of the x-ray radiation exposure. Exposure to x-ray radiation can also cause swelling and first degree burns.
One of the most damaging threats is the appearance of posterior subscapular cataracts. Posterior subscapular cataracts appear in the back of the membrane surrounding the lens of the eye. These cataracts usually progress very quickly and can lead to significant eyesight damage. Some common symptoms include decrease in eyesight sharpness and focus, loss of ability to see objects in bright sunlight and increased glare. Unfortunately, the effects of posterior subscapular cataracts occur within the first few months.
The best treatment for posterior subscapular cataracts is prevention. Requiring hospital staff, doctors and x-ray technicians to wear lead glasses is an important step to helping prevent x-ray radiation damage to the eyes. Lead glasses can greatly reduce the risk of x-ray radiation exposure to only 2-3%. When purchasing lead safety glasses, it is important to purchase lead safety glasses with a glass lens instead of a plastic lens. Glass lenses are 10 times more effective at preventing exposure to x-ray radiation than plastic lenses.
It is always important to remember that when selecting a pair of lead safety glasses, you should purchase glasses that have a lead equivalent of .75mm Pb to ensure satisfactory protection from exposure. With the substantial risks of x-ray radiation exposure, it is critical that every doctor, technician and other healthcare professionals are outfitted with lead glasses when performing an x-ray procedure.