12 Aug Looking after your eyes in the summer
During this current climate when the main focus has been on keeping safe and taking precautions to reduce the risk of catching or spreading the Coronavirus, there is one aspect of protection that may be worth re-enforcing – that is the dangers of Ultraviolet Light radiation (UVR).
Did you know that around 10 minutes outside in the sunshine during July and August is enough to expose you to the effects of UVR, and any prolonged duration, without adequate protection, could cause permanent changes in your body?
The skin is the most obvious place to reveal prolonged exposure to UVR- the face, arms and legs are often the first places where the colour tone changes, and for many of us, we take pride in this temporary transformation- a “healthy tan” is often a comment made when referring to this change in skin colour tone, perhaps an indication of a holiday abroad (in the previous “normal”), or some adventure in the garden or countryside! And of course, there are very important health benefits of some exposure to UVR- apart from stimulating the production of Vitamin D, the sun’s rays provide warmth and a sense of well-being, as well as promote blood circulation.
So, for the eyes, the case for protection is even more important because you cannot “see” the tell-tale signs of over exposure! The eye is a wonderful organ which has developed mechanisms to filter out some of the harmful UVR, but when you have too much of UVR, then some permanent change will be inevitable. This change is in the minute little cells that are working tirelessly during the waking hours to help us see. And when too much UVR gets to these cells, it causes non- reversible damage, ultimately to affect the quality of vision.
The main eye conditions that are caused by UVR are cataracts and macular degeneration. Common symptoms are loss in quality of vision, difficulty recognising faces or distinguishing colours properly, and also glare and sensitivity to different light conditions.
Most of the above can be prevented, or at least helped, by taking very simple steps to avoid too much eye exposure to UVR. Here are my few tips that are worth considering:
- Take care to protect your eyes, especially in early morning and late afternoon- times when your eyes are most vulnerable to the damaging effects of UVR.
- Consider wearing a sunhat, with a broad brim, in addition to quality sunglasses, to help protect against UVR.
- Children are more vulnerable to UVR than adults, so do think about their eye protection when children play outdoors. For toddlers, there is a super colourful range of sunglasses called Baby Banz – and these are available at Eyewise – all wrap around, with comfort straps to hold them in place.
- When choosing sunglasses, do consider Polarised lenses, as most people find these better at alleviating glare than ordinary dark lenses. You can get most prescriptions in Polarised lenses nowadays, so an opportunity to equip yourself with sun eyewear to help you see as well as protect your eyes!
- If you are unsure what colour lens to choose, call the practice to arrange a time to consult our qualified staff who have the knowledge and skill to help you decide the most appropriate type of sunglasses for you- after all, we are here to help you get the most out of your eyes!
You are welcome to come in and talk to the team about your eye care needs, and we would be happy to show you our range of sunglasses. All you need to do is email: [email protected], or call 01895 234563 for an appointment.
Look after yourself and stay safe