Protective goggles used during UV light therapy


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Two pairs of protective goggles, with green tinted lenses, for use during light therapy at the Lord Mayor Treloar
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

A pair of protective goggles with green tinted lenses used during light therapy at the Lord Mayor Treloar Orthopaedic Hospital, Alton, Hampshire, England, 1930-1950

High concentrations of UV light can damage the eyes, so green plastic goggles like these were worn by children undergoing ultraviolet light therapy or actinotherapy. The treatment could be used to treat rickets, but was also used for tuberculosis of the skin – a highly disfiguring disease known as lupus vulgaris. Rickets was common in those with a vitamin D deficient diet and a lack of sunlight also contributed to the condition, whereas exposing the skin of people with lupus to sunlight or UV lamps could kill the tuberculosis bacteria.

The goggles were used at the Lord Mayor Treloar Orthopaedic Hospital in Alton, Hampshire, England. Founded in 1908, the hospital was originally opened to provide specialised treatment for children with orthopaedic conditions, mainly caused by tuberculosis and, later, polio. However, a significant number of lupus and rickets cases were also treated there.

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Science Museum: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

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Object Number:
fabric, leather and metal
North Hampshire Hospitals NHS Trust

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