Eye Experts Warn Of Link Between Tattoos And Vision Loss

A component of tattoo ink has been identified as a possible trigger for a serious and potentially blinding eye condition, Australian eye experts have warned.

The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital (RVEEH) has issued a warning about the hidden risk to vision when getting a tattoo, and they say too many Australians are unaware before they go under the needle.

It's estimated 14.5 per cent of Australians have at least one tattoo.

A component of tattoo ink has been linked to vision loss, according to Australian eye experts. Image: Getty



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The rise in tattourism is undeniable with one in three young Australians sporting ink they got overseas, with many saying the decision to get a travel tatt came down to cost.

'Uveitis' is a serious condition that affects the inner structures of the eye and presents suddenly as pain, redness and blurry vision in one or both eyes.

Many people are unaware of the risk tattoos may pose to your vision. Image: Getty

Along with visual symptoms, affected patients sometimes present with signs of irritation around the tattoo site, such as bumpy and inflamed skin.

There have already been more than five cases of tattoo-related uveitis in the last year at RVEEH, and eye specialist, Associate Professor Lyndell Lim, believes this is due to the increasing popularity of tattoos.

“What has happened as their popularity has increased is that a nasty condition we once considered rare is becoming more common,” Lim said.

Lim urged those with tattoos not to be complacent.

“The public health message should be to consider your vision in addition to other potential health risks when getting a tattoo and if you do have symptoms of uveitis, act quickly to seek specialist care."

The popularity of tattoos is on the rise. Image: Getty

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