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Photokeratitis in Outdoor Event Participants Exposed to UV Radiation Display.

IMPORTANCE: While UV radiation displays may be used for recreational purposes at outdoor events, unprotected eyes have been reported to have symptoms consistent with photokeratitis. Such symptoms warrant documentation and evaluation in ophthalmic peer reviewed literature.

OBJECTIVE: To describe a case series of photokeratitis associated with a single ultraviolet radiation display at an outdoor event.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This case series involved a retrospective record review of 8 patients who presented in public and private health sectors in November 2023 after developing photokeratitis following UV radiation exposure at an outdoor event in Hong Kong on the night of November 4, 2023.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Clinical symptoms, signs, and clinical course of patients who were diagnosed acute photokeratitis following exposure to UV radiation.

RESULTS: The mean time of UV display exposure for the 8 patients (mean [SD] age, 33.12 [5.19] years; 4 [50%] female) was 3.00 (1.41) hours, and symptoms presented at a mean (SD) 8.88 (8.24) hours after the exposure. None of the patients were wearing spectacles during the exposed period. All patients were affected bilaterally. All patients experienced eye pain, 6 experienced red eye, and 5 experienced tearing and photophobia. Mean (SD) presenting visual acuity was logMAR 0.10 (0.14) (approximate Snellen equivalent, 20/25) for right eyes and 0.06 (0.89) (approximate Snellen equivalent, 20/25) for left eyes. On examination, there were findings of cornea and conjunctival involvement with punctate epithelial erosions and ciliary vasodilation, but none of the patients presented with anterior chamber reaction. Corticosteroids, lubricants, and antibiotics, all provided topically, were prescribed. Five patients were not scheduled for a review, and 3 had follow-up visits, with the length of follow-up ranging from 7 to 10 days. All patients had undergone a complete recovery.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: These findings provide evidence of an association between UV radiation used for recreational purposes and photokeratitis, which may help guide evaluation and management of future cases.

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