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Opacities in the Lens of the Eye Experimentally Induced by Exposure to Microwave Radiation

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3 Author(s)

Lens opacities result from exposure of the rabbit eye to 2450-mc continuous wave radiation. Threshold for a single damaging exposure is determined by power density and duration. Opacities may also result as a cumulative effect of repeated subthreshold exposures. Intraocular temperature increases during irradiation, the extent and rate of increase being related to power density. Inasmuch as a particular temperature critical for opacity induction cannot be identified, it is suggested that the intraocular thermal response may be coincident with, rather than the cause of, induction of opacities. Lens damage may result from irradiation at power levels not sufficient to cause discomfort to nonanesthetized animals. Pulsed radiation with high peak intensities appears to be more potent in inducing lens opacities than continuous wave radiation of equal average power. Since ocular temperature is related to average rather than to peak power, these findings further suggest the possibility of a nonthermal biological effect of microwave radiation.

Published in:

IRE Transactions on Medical Electronics  (Volume:ME-7 ,  Issue: 3 )