MIAMI (WSVN) – South Florida doctors discovered that a germicidal lamp used as a protective measure against COVID-19 led to an increase in a painful eye condition in their patients.
Doctors at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami said on Thursday that they started seeing an uptick in photokeratitis, an injury to the cornea when it becomes exposed to too much ultraviolet light, in their patients earlier this year.
“It’s very, very painful for the patient,” said Dr. Guillermo Amescua, an ophthalmologist and an associate professor at Bascom Palmer.
Amescua said they started asking questions to their patients.
“In the clinical history, all the patients mentioned that they were exposed to the germicidal lamp,” he said.
The lamps people were using to sanitize in an attempt to protect themselves from the coronavirus were actually doing damage, doctors said.
“To the point where it can be incapacitated for driving. Visual acuity decreases, there’s significant light sensitivity,” said Amescua.
It isn’t all bad news, however. In most cases, with proper treatment, people can completely recover.
Amescua has a tip for anyone who is going to use one of these lamps.
“Recommendation is to not be present while this lamp is on, functioning in the same room,” he said.
The doctors at Bascom Palmer were the first to publish these findings in the United States.
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