UV Protection for your eyes

The sun supports life on our planet, but its life-giving rays also pose dangers. The sun's primary danger is in the form of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Most people are aware of how harmful UV radiation is to the skin. However, many may not realize that UV radiation can harm the eyes and also affect vision. UV radiation is a major cause of cataracts and has also been linked to the development of macular degeneration.

Temporary effects on eyes


Acute exposure to too much UV radiation can cause temporary effects which usually go away within 48 hours. These include:

  • Mild irritation

  • Feeling there is something in the eye

  • Photoconjunctivitis – inflammation of the conjunctiva

  • Pterygium can be an effect of long term exposure to too much UV radiation

  • Photokeratitis – known as ‘snow blindness’, which causes inflammation of the cornea and is like sunburn of the eye.

Long term effects


Regular exposure to too much UV radiation can cause serious damage to the eyes including:

  • Increased risk of cataracts – clouding of the lens

  • Pterygium – a white fleshy growth on the surface of the eye

  • Rarely, cancer of the cornea or conjunctiva

  • Basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer) of the skin surrounding the eye.

Pterygium can be an effect of long term exposure to too much UV radiation

What can I do?


When outside, there are three key things you can do to protect your eyes and that of your family’s.

  1. Wear a hat - a broad-brimmed hat can reduce the amount of UV radiation reaching the eyes by around 50%.

  2. Wear UV protective sunglasses - make sure your sunglasses provide UV protection. The level of protection against UV radiation will depend on the type of lens. Be sure to ask for polarised lenses.

  3. Apply sunscreen regularly when outdoors to protect the sensitive skin surrounding your eyes.

UV protective sunglasses, sunscreen and a wide brimmed hat are recommended to completely protect your eyes from the sun

What about prescription glasses?


If you wear prescription glasses, there are several options to protect your eyes. These include:

  • Having photochromic (transition) lenses which are clear indoors but darken in response to sunlight.

  • Having polarised prescription sunglasses made with our competitive packages for single vision and progressive glasses wearers.

  • Wearing polarised protective sunglasses over your prescription glasses – We have a great range of ‘Fitover’ sunglasses in stock.

  • Wear polarised sunglasses if you have contact lenses.

Johnathan Paul Fitover sunglasses are designed to fit over the top of your glasses and are fully polarised.

William Morris sunglasses are available in ladies and men's shapes and can be fitted with polarized prescription lenses.

Sun protection for children


It's habit to slather kids in sunscreen and pop on their hats before they go out in the sun. But do your kids wear sunglasses? Have you ever wondered if they need to? Children should wear sunglasses anytime they are outdoors for a significant amount of time. In fact, it has been documented that by the time a child reaches 20 years of age, they would have been exposed to 50% of their lifetime’s worth of UV light. Wearing sunglasses as a child is therefore vital to help protect against the eye conditions that develop later in life. You don't have to spend a fortune buying sunglasses for your children, just ensure the pair you choose have standard UV 400 lenses or 100% UV protection and avoid novelty sunglasses with coloured lenses because they don't provide as much protection.

Wearing sunglasses as a child can help to protect against most common eye conditions that develop later in life

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Unit 4/46 Maki St, NorthWest Shopping Centre

Ph: 09 831 0202