Summer, Sunshine, Sunglasses!
The sun is shining and you’re breaking out the shorts and flip flops. That means one thing, summer is officially here!
While many of us are basking in the glorious sunshine, topping up our tans and enjoying some much-needed vitamin D, it’s important to remember the harmful effects of prolonged UV light exposure and take action to protect yourself against sun damage to your eyes.
Our principal optometrist, Mr Kasmani, answers a few frequently asked questions from our patients below so you’re in the know about this summer about all things UV and sunshine.
What Is UV Light?
Ultraviolet light is a type of electromagnetic radiation that comes from the sun. There are two kinds of rays that can cause damage to a person’s skin and eyes: ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB).
What Are The Risks Of UV Exposure?
UVB rays can reach the front surface of your eyes, i.e., the cornea, while UVA rays can pass through your cornea and enter the thin layer of tissue at the back of your eye, known as the retina.
Prolonged exposure to UV can cause serious short and long-term damage to your eyes.
What Are The Short-Term Risks Of UV Exposure To The Eyes?
Intense exposure to UVB rays can cause a condition called photokeratitis. This is like getting sunburn on your cornea and conjunctiva. It often only lasts for a couple of days, but the condition can be very painful, and you may have red, watery eyes, and blurred vision during this time.
What Are The Long-Term Risks Of UV Exposure?
Over the years, prolonged exposure to UV rays can increase your risk of developing cataracts later in life, which is when the lens of your eye becomes cloudy, as well as age related macular degeneration, which irreversibly damages the retina and causes central vision loss.
How Can I Protect Myself From The Damaging Effects Of UV Exposure?
It’s important to make sure you:
- Wear sunglasses with 100% UV protection when you’re outside, even when it’s overcast
- Take a wide-brimmed hat with you to shade your eyes
- Limit the amount of time you spend in the sun, avoiding peak hours if possible
We endeavour to provide you with the highest quality sun protection, which is why we fit our glasses and sunglasses with Crizal UV lenses from leading lens supplier Essilor. Crizal Sun UV lenses in particular are specially designed to eliminate reflected light both off the back and front of the lens, providing you with complete UV protection, reduced glare, and more comfortable vision. Crizal UV lenses are also smudge and dirt resistant as well as having in built scratch protection, making them durable and easy to clean, so you’re always ready to have fun in the sun!
There you have it – Mr Kasmani’s informative guide to UV exposure and its effects on your eyes. We hope you found this useful – please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly staff to find out more about how you can protect your eyes, book an appointment for an eye exam, or find your next pair of high quality sunglasses from our latest collections!