Loss of human photoreceptor sensitivity associated with chronic exposure to ultraviolet radiation

John S Werner, V. G. Steele, D. S. Pfoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations


The crystalline lens of the human eye absorbs most of the incident ultraviolet radiation (UVR), but when the lens is removed, this radiation can reach the photoreceptors. The consequences of UVR exposure on cone receptor sensitivity were determined from psychophysical measurements in patients who had undergone bilateral cataract extraction and implantation of intraocular lenses (IOLs). The IOL implanted in one eye contained chromophores that absorb indicent UVR, whereas that implanted in the order eye transmitted UVR. Five years of exposure to ambient UVR was associated with a selective loss in sensitivity of the short-wave cone photoreceptors. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that chronic exposure to UVR may damage the human retina.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1552-1558
Number of pages7
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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