May 01, 2014
1 min read

Many Americans unaware of photosensitivity due to light-colored eyes, common drugs

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Many Americans with light-colored eyes and those who take common drugs are unaware they are more vulnerable to UV exposure, which can be a factor in some eye conditions and diseases, according to the results of a poll released by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

The Harris Poll included 2,000 adults. One-third use medications that can increase photosensitivity, and 49% were unaware that the medications can cause photosensitivity. These drugs include antibiotics with tetracycline or fluoroquinolones, certain birth control and estrogen pills, and certain anti-inflammatory pain relievers, according to a press release from the AAO.

Fifty-four percent of Americans have light-colored eyes, and 32% of respondents with light-colored eyes were aware that they are more vulnerable to UV damage; 29% of all respondents were aware that light-colored eyes are more vulnerable to UV damage.

Everyone is recommended to wear 100% UV-protection sunglasses. The survey found that 83% of participants wear sunglasses, 47% check for UV protection, and 32% encourage their children to wear UV-protected sunglasses.