Summer’s here and we’re outdoors more – spending time at the beach, going on coasting hikes, camping, going on long holidays, and spending the school holidays out and about. As much as we love the sunny weather, we’ve got to pay attention to the harmful effects of the harsh summer sun on our eyes.
UV radiation can cause both long- and short-term damage to your eyes, but with adequate eye protection you can minimise this. Short-term problems can include discomfort, excessive blinking or even acute photo-keratopathy (sunburn of the cornea). Long-term damage can be very serious – it can result in cataracts, macular degeneration, cancer of the conjunctiva (membrane covering the white of the eye), skin cancer of the eyelids, and pterygium (growth of fibrous tissue from the conjunctiva onto the cornea). Our optometrists tell you how to be eye smart in the sun this summer.
Protect your eyes
The best way to protect your eyes from ultraviolet radiation exposure is to wear sunglasses with 100% protection against UVA and UVB rays. It is important to wear quality sunglasses that effectively block UV radiation, so choose sunglasses with a high Eye Protection Factor. If you wear glasses, choose prescription sunglasses so that you can see clearly and are well protected. Wearing your sunglasses along with a broad-brimmed hat can reduce UV rays that enter the eyes by up to 98%.
Children’s eye protection
There is no clear age recommendation for when children should begin wearing sunglasses, but the earlier the better. Sun damage can be cumulative and since children have a very clear lens in their eye, this easily transmits UV radiation to their retina. Find a pair of children’s sunglasses that fits your child well and is comfortable. Even without sunglasses, a broad brimmed, legionnaire-style or bucket hat can substantially reduce the amount of UV radiation reaching a child’s eyes.
If you’re hitting the ski slopes, wear quality ski goggles that have a snug fit and adequately block UV radiation. With inadequate eye protection, you can even experience snow blindness and sunburn on the eye surface. We stock prescription ski goggles at The Eye Scene, so there is no excuse!
Sunlight can affect your eyes even more when it is reflected off water, white sand or snow. Polarised sunglasses are particularly useful to reduce glare and improve visual comfort in these situations.
If you need a new pair of sunglasses this summer, visit us at The Eye Scene. We stock bespoke brands that are beautifully crafted and make a style statement. Call us on 9362-9944 or book an appointment online.