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Natsuko Hatsusaka, Yusuke Seki, Norihiro Mita, Yuki Ukai, Hisanori Miyashita, Eri Kubo, David Sliney, Hiroshi Sasaki; UV Index Does Not Predict Ocular Ultraviolet Exposure. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2021;10(7):1. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.10.7.1.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The ultraviolet index (UVI), available online, is an international linear scale of levels from 0 to 13+ that warns about the risk of sunburn; however, it does not address the risk to eyes. Our purpose was to develop a useful instrument to warn the public against ocular ultraviolet (OUV) exposure and to serve as a tool for researching UV-induced ocular diseases.
A rotating model head that included ultraviolet B (UVB) sensors documented UV irradiance at the crown and at the eyes spanning eight azimuths from sunrise to sunset under different climatic conditions in each season. The dose intensities obtained were compared with their respective UVI levels. Doses to the eyes were mathematically transformed to develop an OUV index with linear levels from 0 to 13+, similar to the UVI. Then, readings from both instruments were compared.
UV exposure at the crown increases with solar culmination, whereas that to the eye is greater under low rather than maximum solar altitude. The OUV index levels were higher than recorded UVI levels in the summer under low solar altitude in the early morning and mid- to late afternoon and were markedly higher all day in winter when solar altitude remains low.
The UVI does not provide sufficient warning about the risks of ocular UV damage. The proposed OUV index is a useful instrument to warn the public against OUV exposure and to serve as a tool for researching UV-induced ocular diseases.
The OUV index is useful to prevent ocular UV-related diseases.
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