The last few weeks have seen the UK basking in exceptional hot and sunny weather. And even if all we’ve been able to do it enjoy it from the lockdown confines of our own gardens or open windows we still need to make sure that we wear sunglasses.
Sunglasses are often seen as a fashion accessory but they’re so much more important than that and are vital to your eye health. They protect your eyes and the delicate areas of skin around them. They reduce glare and they can help prevent long term eye damage.
These are some conditions that wearing sunglasses can protect you from
Cataracts – A condition where the lens of your eyes become clouded leading to blurred vision.
Macular degeneration – Central vision is ruined as the retina becomes damaged.
Pterygium – When the white part of the eye becomes overgrown with tissue. This can sometimes lead to blurred vision.
Photokeratitis – This can be very painful as it is basically the eye becoming sunburnt.
Cancer – A significant amount of skin cancer is found on the eyelids. Some cancers of the eye are also to do with UV exposure which can be reduced by wearing sunglasses, therefore reducing your risk of cancer.
Wrinkles! – As sunglasses protect the areas of skin around your eye it therefore protects those areas from wrinkles. Also, wearing sunglasses stops you from squinting further reducing wrinkles.
Prevent UV light damage
Why do sunglasses help? Because they protect our eyes from UV light.
UV light is present all year round. Obviously in summer UV levels are much higher than in winter, however your eyes can still be affected by UV light in winter. For example UV light reflects off snow or water and can even travel through cloud.
UV light includes UVA and UVB. UVB radiation affects the top layer of skin causing most sunburns and cancer. UVA radiation, which is 95% of the radiation that reaches the earth’s surface, causes sun spots, wrinkles and premature ageing. The damage caused by UV rays is cumulative, building over time. And often the symptoms are not obvious until the damage has been done.
That’s why it is important that you choose sunglasses that protect your eyes from 99-100% of UVA and UVB radiation. Make sure the label says UV400 or 400nm. This is the equivalent of 100% protection. Happily price is not an indication of protection and you can easily find inexpensive sunglasses which offer effective protection.
And get into the habit of wearing your sunglasses whenever you’re outside in the sunshine be it summer or winter. Also don’t forget to make your children wear sunglasses too as their eyes are still developing and are therefore more susceptible to damaging their eyes.
Enjoy the sun
So, when you buy your sunglasses don’t just go for style – protection is even more important. We protect our skin with sun cream, but we mustn’t forget to protect our eyes from UV too. By wearing sunglasses your eyes can remain healthy and you can enjoy the sunny weather safely!
And let’s hope this glorious weather continues this summer!
If you are concerned about your eyes or need help with your sunglasses please just give us a call.