With the British Summer just around the corner, it is time to prepare. You may already be aware of the need to protect your skin from long sun exposure. However, sun protection doesn’t stop there. Keeping your eyes healthy during long summer days is crucial.

The three key types of energy that radiate from the sun are the sunlight we see, the heat we feel and the Ultraviolet (UV) Rays which are invisible to the naked eye. UV Rays cause sunburn but can also be damaging to your eyes and vision.

How UV rays can damage the eyes

UV-A and UV-B are the two types of UV Rays radiated from the sun. Over long periods, UV-A can damage your macula, which is connected to your eye’s retina. Thereby sacrificing your central vision.

UV-B rays are absorbed by the lens and cornea of your eyes. Over exposure to UV-B rays can be potentially more damaging than excessive UV-A exposure.

Potential Issues

Extensive exposure to the sun can lead to a selection of possible issues for your eyes. Some are more damaging than others, but all can be avoided with protective measures.

See below the possible risks when you don’t pay attention to sun protection:

  • Macular Degeneration – A leading cause of vision loss, common in 50 to 60-year olds, effecting your central vision.
  • Cataracts – Causing clouding over your eye’s natural lens, which focuses on visible light.
  • Skin Cancer – Long periods of exposure to the sun can put your eyelids at possible risk of skin cancer.
  • Corneal Sunburn – Also known as photokeratitis, this type of sunburn is caused by excessive exposure to the sun within a short period. It can result in temporary vision loss and you may experience some pain.

Sun Protection for Your Eyes

Finding a protective pair of sunglasses should be your number one priority this summer. Choose a pair of sunglasses which offer sufficient UV protection, are high quality and will help to reduce glares from surfaces. Also consider the frame shape, as you will need plenty of coverage around your eye area.

You could also try pairing your new sunglasses with a wide brimmed hat. Although they don’t provide sufficient sun protection by themselves, they can help to block light and UV Rays. Thereby providing extra protection for your eyes and face.

If you require contact lenses, there are two types of UV ray protection: Class I and Class II. Ask your optician for advice on which contact lenses would be best suited to you.

Book Your Appointment

To monitor your eye heath and to receive advice on sun protection, book your appointment with Dominic Tunnell Opticians today. Our welcoming and friendly team will provide first class care and professional advice. As well as eye examinations, we also offer Hearing Tests and Behavioural Optometry.

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