Why Radiation Glasses are a Must for Workers in Interventional Radiology?
Last updated on July 7th, 2020.
A medical professional in the field of interventional radiology is like a fairy-tale hero who battles a dragon. The hero risks his life to save the princess and comes home battle-scarred with burns and scratches.
Medical professionals in the field of interventional radiology do a lot of diagnostic tests and procedures for their patients.
The use of images for diagnosis and intervention procedures helps in minimizing the need for traditional surgery. It lessens the need for high-risk invasive medical procedures. It brings down the risk of infection, hastens recovery, reduces time spent in the hospital, and increases chances of healing and recovery.
These interventions include ultrasound, fluoroscopy, computed tomography scans or CT scans, x-rays, CT fluoroscopy, and MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging. All these interventions release radiation.
A doctor may not have dramatic burns to show for his efforts, but he does take some risks in the arena of the interventional room. He risks his health by his exposure to radiation. Studies show that when a doctor (or any medical staff) does a radiology procedure, he exposes himself to potentially harmful radioactive rays. He receives low dose radiation (LDR) – approximately a thousand of what his patient is exposed to. However, LDR can add up and have harmful cumulative effects.
A hero has a shield. A doctor needs leaded protection. Medical personnel in the fields of radiology and fluoroscopy get exposed to many forms of radiation while doing their jobs. They need leaded gloves, thyroid shields, and leaded aprons to shield them from the harmful effects of x-rays.
It is only recently that critical attention has been given to the harmful effects of radiation to the lens of the eye. Repeated exposure to LDR can increase your risk of developing cataracts. Long-term exposure can even lead to blindness.
The ICRP or the International Commission on Radiological Protection states that occupational exposure of the eyes to radiation must be limited to 150 mSv per year. Some experts believe that the limit should be even lower. Cataracts quickly develop when a person absorbs more radiation because of repeated exposure – even to low doses of radioactive rays. The lens of the eye is apt to develop opacities, impeding vision.
Research shows that the risk of cataract formation rises as the frequency of exposure increases. This plainly shows that if you are in the field of radiology, you have to use radiation glasses to protect your eyes.
Human tissue responds to radiation in different ways. The brain demonstrates minimal sensitivity to radiation. The eyes show extreme sensitivity even to low-dose radiation. Without protection, your eyes are likely to form cataracts with repeated radiation exposure. You have to ensure that you keep your eyes healthy by using the right protection.
Make sure that you use protection glasses with unquestionable optical superiority for excellent vision. Aside from optical quality, look for appropriate protective quality. Experts suggest that you use safety glasses with 0.75mm Pb equivalent lenses. The protection is sufficient in keeping your eyes safe from harm.
These safety glasses weaken the intensity of the radiation, which goes through the glasses. They reduce the force of the harmful rays. When the rays reach your eyes, they are weaker and less likely to cause harm.
In Europe, professionals who work in interventional radiation units are required to use radiation safety glasses. In the United States, policies differ from one hospital to another. If you want to preserve your eyesight, it is prudent to use safety glasses. You will not think twice about using a lead protection apron or leaded gloves when you work in the radiation room. You should not have to deliberate about using protection glasses either.
In the past, the options for leaded radiation protection glasses were quite limited. The only ones available were usually uncomfortable and heavy. It is not surprising that only a few medical personnel opted to use the glasses at work.
Today, people understand the critical need for these protection glasses. Companies have come up with more and better options. There is now a wide range of safety glasses to choose from. You can have light and comfortable protection glasses. You can have prescription or non-prescription. You can get protection glasses that are just as smart as fashion sunglasses. You can get them in the size and style that work for you. It is not surprising that more people now comply with the recommendation to use eye protection.
With the availability of many useful, practical and stylish safety glasses, you should not dilly-dally about getting radiation glasses. You need eye protection, and you have many excellent options to consider.