...and when it comes to the frame, the bigger, the better!
Did you know wearing sunglasses is just as important as wearing a hat to protect against UV rays? We caught up with Ealing resident Aoife Naughton, Ophthalmologist and Oculoplastic surgeon, who shared some helpful tips on how to prevent UV light exposure and how to protect your eyes from damage. Aoife is based at The Clinic, Holland Park.
UV light ages all structures of the eye. Corneal damage, cataracts and macular degeneration are all possible chronic effects from UV exposure and can ultimately lead to decreased vision. The eyelid skin is the thinnest of the whole body. UV damage induces dryness, wrinkles, accentuated skin furrows and increases your risk of skin cancer. The damage to your eyes and skin from the sun’s UV radiation is cumulative, meaning your risk for developing sun- and UV-related eye and eyelids will continue to grow throughout your lifetime.
Sunglasses are must-have eyewear, helping protect from the sun and its reflective rays’ impact to your eyes and your vision. In addition, wearing a broad brimmed hat and daily SPF 50 to the skin help to mitigate risks of UV damage. Furthermore, choose glasses marked 100% UV protection. The single most important thing to look for when buying sunglasses to protect your eyes is that they block 100 percent of UV rays. Check for ‘CE’ marked UV400 lenses, or British Standards BS EN ISO 12312-1:2013.
When it comes to the frame, the bigger the better. Consider buying oversized or wraparound-style sunglasses to limit UV rays from entering the sides of the glasses, thus offering optimal protection. Price is actually not necessarily related to protection. Sunglasses don't have to be expensive to be effective. Inexpensive sunglasses, labeled as 100 percent UV-blocking are a better choice than designer sunglasses with no protection.
Children’s eyes are particularly vulnerable to damage from the sun’s UV rays. Their developing lens allows 70% more UV rays to enter the eye, compared to an adult. Try to keep your child out of the sun during peak hours. Seek out the shade during the sun’s peak hours, especially during the Summer. The sun’s power hours are usually midday to early afternoon. Again, sunglasses with 100% UV protection is a must. If your child is still cruising around in a stroller, make sure it has a shield or cover on it.
Some contact lenses offer UV protection. But these lenses are not enough to keep your eyes safe from sun damage. UV-blocking contact lenses provide good protection to the insides of the eyes, but it's important to look after the outsides of the eyes and eyelids too. Supplement with sunglasses, marked 100% UV protection, for maximal protection.