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Radiation-associated lens opacities

Radiation-associated lens opacities, also known as radiation-induced cataracts, are caused by excessive exposure of the lenses of the eyes to ionizing radiation.


The lens of the eye is one of the most radiosensitive tissues in the body. Exposure to ionizing radiation can cause cataract formation which can develop over years to decades. It is most often encountered as a posterior subcapsular cataract (PSC). Early stages may not cause visual impairment. The severity of opacities has been shown to increase progressively with dose, ultimately causing visual impairment. The latency of changes has been shown to be inversely related to dose (accumulative effects).

See also

Radiation therapy

Article information

rID: 28612
System: Head & Neck
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Radiation-associated lens opacity
  • Radiation induced cataract
  • Radiation induced cataracts
  • Radiation-induced cataracts
  • Radiation-induced cataract

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: eye shields for protection
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