Sunglasses advice in 60 seconds Video on the damage caused by UV (ultra violet) light and what steps to take to prevent it 29 July 2016 Few people consider the damage of UV (ultra violet) light to their eyes but just as it causes premature ageing in the skin, UV also causes premature ageing in the eyes.
A new video from the Association of Optometrists (AOP) is helping the public protect their eyes this summer, advising on the damage caused by the sun and what steps to take to protect them. The impact of UV light can be wide reaching, from changing the appearance of the eye to causing serious diseases and conditions.
Ceri Smith-Jaynes, optometrist and AOP spokesperson, explains: “Over time, damage can cause growths on the eyelid, it can make the eye less white and less smooth, and more lumpy and yellow, or cause tumours on the eyelid. UV damage can also lead to cataracts, impairing vision.” The easiest way to protect eyes from UV light is to wear a good quality pair of sunglasses, Ms Smith-Jaynes continued, elaborating that: “When choosing sunglasses, always go for a pair with the CE mark. This indicates that they have full UV protection. Glasses that sit closer to the eye and wrap-around, blocking out more light, are usually better but wear a hat to reduce light coming over the top as well.”
Addressing UV filters in contact lenses, she added: “Some contact lenses will have UV protection, some won’t, so check the packaging or speak to your optometrist to be sure. However, don’t forget that, even if your contact lenses have a UV block, they will only cover a certain area of your eye – the area outside this, usually the white of the eye and the eyelids, are still vulnerable to UV damage. So you should also wear sunglasses.” Ms Smith-Jaynes finished by reminding the public that they should never look directly at the sun, saying: “Even if you are wearing sunglasses looking at the sun is just not safe, the damage can happen in seconds and is not repairable.”
The AOP advises on three steps for protecting your eyes against sun damage:
1. Wear CE marked sunglasses, even if you are using contact lenses with a UV filter
2. Add extra protection with a wide brimmed sun hat
3. Never look at the sun directly – even if it’s just for a few seconds