Let’s talk about UV damage to eyes

As the weather warms up, its hard to resist taking in the sunshine. However, the summer sun comes with a downside — UV radiation. UV damage to eyes is a common problem as the days get longer and brighter. However, a good pair of sunglasses will ensure you can enjoy the sunshine without harming your eyes. In this blog, we’ll take a look at the best sunglasses for eye protection. But first, let’s find out more about UV radiation.

What is UV radiation?

UV radiation is a type of radiation released by the sun, which is invisible to the naked eye. There are different types but the two that can harm your eyes are UVA and UVB. They increase your risk of developing eye diseases later on in life, such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration as well as skin cancer around your eyes. UV radiation can also result in growths on your eyes and strong exposure can cause photokeratitis, an acute inflammation of your cornea, which can be likened to ‘sunburnt’ eyes.

The solution to avoiding UV damage to your eyes is to wear protective sunglasses.

The best sunglasses for eye protection

All protective sunglasses sold in the UK should block out 99–100% of UVA and UVB radiation. If you’re tempted to look for a cheaper pair of sunglasses on the high street or at a market, be aware that they don’t have the official CE mark they won’t be effective — dark lenses do not equate to UV protection. In fact, they actually dilate your pupils more, allowing more light to enter your eyes and cause damage. This is why we always recommend going to see an eyecare professional to purchase a high quality pair of shades to protect your eyes.

As experienced optometrists, we’ll also make sure that your sunglasses snugly fit around your face. The more of your face they cover, the better protected your eyes and eyelids will be. Wraparound sunglasses are therefore the best option when it comes to minimising your exposure to UV radiation.

You may also want to consider other lens features that improve your vision — brown or amber tints increase contrast, while polarised lenses reduce glare significantly.

Got questions?

If you’d like to learn more about making the right choice in sunglasses for your vision, R A Glass Holywood, your opticians in the Belfast area, are here to help. While we are still closed for routine appointments, we can repair or replace sunglasses in certain circumstances, such as if you need them for driving or have cataracts. Simply give us a call to find out how we can help.

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