Sun Awareness Week is a national campaign created by The British Association of Dermatologists to highlight how dangerous the sun can be if we don’t protect ourselves from it and how to look after your skin and enjoy the brighter weather safely. And of course our eyes need protecting too which is why most of us own sunglasses.
We all love sunny weather and all the fun activities it brings with it like picnics, barbecues and outdoor sports. Living in a country where the weather is so unpredictable makes us appreciate the sun all the more on the days when it does decide to make an appearance. Whilst spending time outdoors is great for your health and a little bit of sunshine can even boost your mood, it’s very important to know how to enjoy the brighter weather safely.
However, sometimes you believe that you are doing everything properly and you still end up with problems. This is something that we see in our practice from time to time, where someone has bought a pair of sunglasses off the Internet or at a pound shop or abroad, even sometimes from other sunglasses outlets. All the labels say that the lenses are to the proper standard so you obviously think it is OK, that you are doing the right thing and you are protected.
And yet, when I measure them for their Ultra Violet (UV) protection they fail, sometimes very poorly. This makes it even more dangerous than wearing nothing at all because wearing a dark tint causes your pupil to open up, letting even more UV reach the back of the eye with all the potential damage that can ensue to the cells at the back of the eye.
As you will probably know, when you get short term excessive UV exposure on your skin you get sunburn but long-term exposure can result in cancer. In your eyes short term exposure can cause varying degrees of eye irritation, but long-term exposure can result in cataracts and damage to the macula at the back of the eye and other eye problems. So it crucial that your sunglasses do the job that they should.
When we supply any protective eyewear we test them to ensure that your eyes are fully protected.
If you would like us to check whether your sunglasses are protecting you from Ultra Violet light, we will do this for you FREE.
All you have to do is call in to my Spondon practice on 22nd May or my Whitwick practice on the 23rd May and we will be delighted to test them. It would be helpful to us if you could get in touch beforehand so that we don’t keep you waiting too long when you call in.
So don’t stop going out in the sun, just take easy precautions.
- Apply sun cream to protect your skin.
- Put on a hat.
- Wear sunglasses.
By the way, don’t think that you’re safe just because it is cloudy or it is winter. Ultra Violet rays can pass through cloud and are also damaging during the winter months. So if you usually put your sunglasses away at the end of August and don’t get them out again until the following June then it’s time to think again!