Protecting Your Eyes This Summer
It is no secret that the sun can damage your skin in summer.
We are all pretty good at putting on sunscreen to protect ourselves against sunburn and harmful UV rays.
What a lot of people don’t realise, is that every time we go outside in summer, we are also putting our eyes at risk.
Don’t Look At The Sun!
Powerful and potentially harmful UVA and UVB rays from the intense summer sun can cause cataracts, eyelid cancers and other skin cancers, and have been proven to play a part in macular degeneration and premature skin ageing around the eyes.
The eyelid’s skin is thin and fragile, and extremely susceptible to UV light. Too much UV absorption can damage the cornea, turn the lens yellow and cause cataracts to develop.
Don’t worry. We’re not suggesting you stay indoors all summer! There are a few simple and easy techniques for protecting your eyes when you are out in the sunshine.
Here is our top three:
1. Wide-Brimmed Hats
Wearing a hat with a brim of at least 3” can block up to 50% of all UVB rays. Hats can prevent harmful UV rays from entering your eyes from above. This is a simple and easy way to protect your eyes from long-term damage.
During the hottest months of summer, when the sun’s UVA and UVB rays are at their most concentrated, seek shade whenever possible between 10am and 4pm.
Sunglasses that block UV rays are the best defence against eye damage from the sun. This doesn’t just apply to the summer either. You should wear sunglasses outdoors no matter the time of year. Even on overcast or cloudy days, UV can penetrate through the clouds and haze and cause lasting damage.
It is very important that you wear sunglasses when you are on the water. Like snow, seawater reflects harmful UV rays, amplifying them in the process. This can cause long-term damage to unprotected eyes. So if you are heading out on a boat this summer, make sure you have the right eyewear.
When purchasing sunglasses, there are a few things you need to be sure of:
- Are the frames large enough to cover your whole eye socket, eyelids and surrounding areas?
- Are the lenses polarised? Polarised lenses eliminate harmful glare. This is especially important when driving, on snow or in water.
- Check that the sunglasses you buy are manufactured to protect against UVA and UVB rays. This should be indicated somewhere on the packaging.
Let’s hope we need them this summer!