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Bulgarian Review of Ophthalmology

Conjunctival autofluorescence - innovative technology for early diagnosis of ocular surface damage from the surrounding environment

D. Bojadjiev, E. Neshinski, M. Marinov, M. Bojadjieva, Chr. Grupcheva



Humans are in constant and dynamic equilibrium with environmental factors. Fundamental to the maintenance of life is sunlight. In addition to positive effects on human body, exposure to excessive exposure leads to destructive changes in many organs and systems.

Most people are aware about the harmful effects of UV radiation on the skin, but not about their harmful effects on the eye.


The aim of this study is to identify objective morphological changes on the anterior surface result of UV exposure, using an innovative method for visualization of the early changes.

Materials and methods

This prospective study was conducted in three consecutive years at the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences in the territory of the Specialised Eye Hospital - Varna. 400 eyes of 200 subjects were included in the study group, with an average age of 32 10 years (5 to 83 years). A full ophthalmologic examination, front anterior ocular imaging was performed with a specially designed camera based on UV autofluorescence and in vivo confocal microscopy. All the participants were given specially developed questionnaires, assessing the habits and knowledge about UV protection and relevant habits.


The results of the UV camera captures demonstrated rate of 67.5% (134 persons) regarding morphological changes of the ocular surface. All those morphological alterations were included in the definition of UV damage.

It is noted that as the age increased, both the percentage of participants with UVAF and the intensity of the damage is also increasing.


The results of the population-based study confirm that UVAF is an objective marker for early diagnosis of the anterior ocular surface damage, due to harmful effect of UV radiation.

Based on these observations and analysis, one may assume that UV radiation is a major factor for these alterations.


conjunctival autofluorescence; anterior ocular damage; UV

Full Text


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About The Authors

D. Bojadjiev
University Eye clinic, Varna

E. Neshinski
University Eye clinic, Varna

M. Marinov
University Eye clinic, Varna

M. Bojadjieva
University Eye clinic, Varna

Chr. Grupcheva
University Eye clinic, Varna