Summer 2018 is going to be up there in the memory of fantastic summers! It has been great and I am sure that you have been going through as much sunscreen as I have! It did make me think, when layering the sun cream onto my children that all the bright light and UV is also getting into their eyes.
Are you protecting their eyes (and yours) as much as their skin?
Statistically 80% of the UV light we are exposed to throughout our lifetime happens during childhood. If you look closely, you will notice that the pupils in children’s eyes are generally much larger than an adult’s meaning much more exposure not just to visible light, but also harmful UV rays.
Wearing a hat or a cap will reduce this somewhat, but there is UV light which bounces off surfaces, even tarmac and grass, which will get into the eyes. There are many eye conditions including cataracts and macular degeneration which have links to UV light as a risk factor. I wonder how much of a benefit could be gained by reducing UV exposure in childhood would have to their later life and eye health? This is tricky to measure, but surely can only be beneficial.
It is not only children at risk, a year or so back I saw sunburn on someone’s cornea! Terribly, painful red eyes. Examination showed an unhappy and inflamed cornea and very red “white’s” of the eyes. He had been at a festival over a sunny weekend with no sunglasses or hat!
This hit home for me that real damage can be done if we don’t protect ourselves and when it is invisible UV light from which we are protecting, it can be easy to “forget” or make less effort.
It is worth the 2 minutes a day to apply sunscreen, put on a hat and wear sunglasses.
We have UV protective sunspecs in the practice which are ideal for children and adults alike. Even some of our clear prescription spectacles have UV protection up to an equivalent SPF30! My personal favourites are my new Maui Jim Polarised sunglasses which I had made to prescription for the first time and an absolute pleasure to look through!
Stay safe in the sun!