If you’re an interventional radiologist, your vision is crucial to your work.
Why Should I Wear Radiation Safety Glasses During Fluoroscopy?
Only in the last decade or so has the damage of relatively low levels of ionizing radiation come to light for interventional radiologists.
Fluoroscopy involves the real-time viewing of x-ray images during pulmonary and other procedures, and fine visual acuity is absolutely essential for doctors performing such tasks. Unfortunately, the ionizing radiation produced by the fluoroscopes the doctors use to produce real-time x-rays can be detrimental to a doctor’s eyesight with prolonged exposure over the course of a career.
Doctors as young as in their 30′s can potentially start experiencing x-ray-related vision problems if they do not wear the proper protective equipment.
Radiation safety glasses are a sure way to reduce the risk of cataracts caused by x-ray radiation exposure during fluoroscopy.
- X-ray radiation exposure is limited by prescribed thresholds in the United States, but because of the cumulative nature of x-ray radiation exposure, doctors working regularly in fluoroscopy over the course of a career are at high risk of accumulating enough radiation to damage their eyesight.
- Years of exposure to x-rays during fluoroscopy has been significantly correlated with cataracts risk in doctors.
- Cataracts are capable of being removed surgically, but the surgery comes with risks which include possible permanent vision damage, which could end a career.
- Radiation safety glasses offer protection equivalent to that of a 0.75mm Pb (lead) sheet. The result is lead glasses that attenuate x-ray radiation, greatly reducing the ionizing radiation that reaches your eyes.
- Eye problems such as cataracts can take decades to develop if they’re caused by fluoroscopy, due to the slow and progressive nature of regular x-ray exposure. If you have been in fluoroscopy for years, just because you haven’t had eye problems yet doesn’t mean that you’re not at risk.
- Those who’ve been in fluoroscopy the longest are actually at the highest risk for cataracts if they haven’t been wearing radiation safety glasses.
Radiation safety glasses, or leaded glasses, are a surefire way to greatly reduce your chances of cataracts caused by x-ray radiation if you are a medical professional working in fluoroscopy.
There is no substitute for proper safety. Other countries have already recognized the dangers of x-ray radiation and have made lead glasses mandatory in all fluoroscopy procedures. It is not worth risking your career to wait for the damage to occur before you worry about your safety.
Radiation safety glasses today come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and even corrective eye prescriptions. If you need a pair of leaded safety glasses, there’s sure to be a pair that’s right for you.
Please leave a comment below if you have a question or concern about x-ray radiation, radiation safety glasses, or the ionizing radiation caused by x-rays produced by fluoroscopes. Thanks for reading, and stay safe!