Looking After Your Eyes in the Sun
Let’s face it, most of us in the UK are deprived of vitamin D for the majority of the year. That’s why, when the sun does come out, we want to make the most of it. Sunny warm days are for spending outdoors, lounging in the garden, parks or at the seaside. Which explains the number of lobster-red faces you might see on a Monday morning after a weekend of sunshine! This is in spite of the known dangers of sunburn, which we know can cause skin damage and even cancer. So, are we taking care of our eyes any better than our skin?
Here’s the serious health warning you should pay attention to: the sun can burn your eyes as well as your skin.
Sun damage is linked to the growth of certain types of tumours – according to Cancer Research, there are around 850 new eye cancer cases in the UK every year, that’s more than 2 everyday and almost a quarter of who are diagnosed are over the age of 75.
UV light exposure can cause cataracts, inflammation of the cornea and even macular degeneration. To avoid this damage, it is vital that you look after your eyes when you’re outside on sunny days – yes, even in the UK.
Here are some expert tips when out in the sun:
- Always wear high quality sunglasses with UV 400 rating to make sure they have adequate UVA and UVB protection. Additionally, look out for the CE mark on sunglasses as they indicate that they are of European standards.
- For those who wear prescription glasses consider opting for a pair that has UV filter protection built in.
- If you are going to be on the water, you might want polarised lenses to prevent glare, such as Maui Jim glasses which are all polarised.
- Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 and don’t forget to re-apply regularly.
- When outdoors try to stay in the shade and wearing a wide-brimmed hat will also protect the eyes and face from the sun.
For further advice on prescription sunglasses, visit our sunglasses page.
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Fleet Street Clinic is a multi-disciplinary practice offering a full range of medical services. If you want to use one of our many other services (from seeing a private GP to having an eye test), please contact us , or book online here.