Davina Discusses … Do I Really Need UV Protection For My Eyes?

In a word…YES! Well you can’t see it but it certainly is there and the whole year round!

Now that Summer 2019 has truly arrived, as well as getting out the fan and drinking plenty of water, where on your list are you prioritising being safe in the sun?

The more I use my sunglasses (all year round) the more I miss them if for some reason I don’t have them to hand. Wearing my polarised sunglasses, I am used to being visually comfortable and free from glare on the school run, in the car and when out for a walk. But I must admit, I do not always consciously think “Now I’ve got UV protection for my retinas”…unless that is, when sending my children out to school and nursery or when we are going out on a sunny day.

sunglasses - summer eye care hints and tips

As an optometrist I am more than aware of the impact that UV exposure can have if it is not done safely. In the consulting room, this invisible UV light with such strength has manifested in the form of cataracts, macula degeneration and even corneal sunburn which is terribly painful.

A staggering fact from the World Health Organisation #WHO, that 80% of the UV to which we are exposed occurs during childhood never ceases to shock me.  It is far more important than I feel most people realise, that we provide adequate UV protection for children. Many schools will make pupils aware of the approach to “slip, slap, slop” on their “hat, t shirt, sunscreen and slide on your sunglasses” but I frequently see children with only 1 or 2 of these. Are you doing your bit?

Many national campaigns drive awareness to highlight the importance of responsible sun exposure. See #skcin for national advice and closer to home you may remember the Colin Bloomfield appeal to raise awareness of what you should be doing and how to get involved.

Our recent feature in the Derby Evening Telegraph spoke about the lack of awareness and action in protecting eyes.

We need to get better at shielding not just our skin, but eyes from UV too for a safer future.

Call us for advice or come along to speak to Ruth or Helen out dispensing Opticians about sunwear for UV protection. We have CE marked sunglasses for children available to buy off the shelf.

Be safe in the sun…slip on a t-shirt, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat, slide on some sunglasses and seek shade.

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