Liz Connor writes about protecting your eyes from the sun.
It’s not just your skin that you need to think about protecting in the warm weather.
During the summer, our eyes are especially vulnerable to harmful UV light, but according to research, up to 20m people in the UK may be putting their eye health at risk by not checking the UV rating when they buy sunglasses.
As studies also reveal that 5-10 per cent of all skin cancers are found on the eyelid, Dan McGhee, director of professional services at Vision Express, gives us his top tips for getting your eyes summer-ready.
1. Start wearing the right sunglasses from a young age
“Up to 80 per cent of a person’s lifetime exposure to UV will occur before the age of 18, according to the World Health Organisation, and with UVA sun rays causing premature ageing and age-related illnesses, it is important to protect your eyes from an early age.
“Young people’s eyes are more sensitive to UV absorption and under-12s are particularly susceptible, because the clear lenses in their eyes are not yet properly formed.”
2. Have regular eye examinations
“The best way to start protecting your eyes is by having regular eye tests at the optician.
“These will highlight any sight problems or damage, such as cataracts, macular degeneration or skin cancer around the eye area, and can determine other health issues, such as high cholesterol and even diabetes.”
3. Wear sunglasses even when it’s cloudy
“Wear sunglasses while outdoors at all times, even if your eyes feel fine, as some of the effects of too much light can be delayed. Prolonged sun exposure has been directly linked to cataract formation and pterygium (a pinkish, triangular tissue growth on the cornea of the eye) and are seen more commonly on people who spend a lot of time outdoors and in hot climates.”
4. Consider polarised shades
“Polarised lenses offer the best protection from the sun, blocking indirect glare and reducing the need to squint, which can cause muscle fatigue, headaches and eye strain.”