Get ready for summer months by ensuring that your eyes are as well protected from UV radiation as your skin.

As the warm weather approaches, the additional sunlight we will enjoy will inevitably lead to an increased exposure to UV radiation for most people. UV rays from the sun has two components UV-A and UV-B and each is thought to be detrimental to the health of the eye.

The effects of UV radiation

UV-A can affect your central vision by damaging the macula (a part of the retina).

UV-B affects the front of the eye, specifically the cornea and lens. Although UV-B radiation is mostly absorbed by the cornea and lens, it can be even more damaging than UV-A inside the eye.

Exposing you eyes to UV can cause Macular Degeneration, Cataract, Pterygium, Skin Cancer and Corneal Sunburn (photokeratitis). Some of these conditions can result in loss of sight.

HEV light is higher energy light at the blue end of the spectrum. Although not in the UV spectrum, it is also thought to cause Macular Degeneration.

Children are most vulnerable

Some of the most exposed are children. Some experts believe that up to half of a person’s lifetime exposure to UV can happen by the age of 18. This is due to children spending significantly more time outdoors than most adults.

How to protect yourself and your children

It is important to understand that the levels of UV radiation vary by location and time. UV is strongest between the tropics, close to the equator, so protection while on holiday is a must. UV is also strongest when the sun is highest in the sky. If possible, avoid exposure between 10am and 2pm on a sunny day.

If you do go out in the sun, protect your eyes with sunglasses that block both UV-A and UV-B ray such as our Maui Jim range. Maui Jim sunglasses come with endorsement from the nation skin cancer foundation.

Some contact lenses, such as the Acuvue range, also come with UV protection.

Please contact us for more information about these products.