In this review paper, we present radiation effects on silica-based optical fibers. We first describe the mechanisms inducing microscopic and macroscopic changes under irradiation: radiation-induced attenuation, radiation-induced emission and compaction. We then discuss the influence of various parameters related to the optical fiber, to the harsh environments and to the fiber-based applications on the amplitudes and kinetics of these changes. Then, we focus on advances obtained over the last years. We summarize the main results regarding the fiber vulnerability and hardening to radiative constraints associated with several facilities such as Megajoule class lasers, ITER, LHC, nuclear power plants or with space applications. Based on the experience gained during these projects, we suggest some of the challenges that will have to be overcome in the near future to allow a deeper integration of fibers and fiber-based sensors in radiative environments.