Protecting your eyes – staying safe in the sun

Post on 4th July 2016

During the summer months, we head over to warmer climates in the search for soaring sunshine, also in the hope that it’s not as shy as it is here in the UK. Although vitamin D may be good for our bones, we mustn’t forget the damaging impact the sun’s UV rays can have on our eyesight.

The World Health Organisation estimate that around 20% of cataracts that occur are down to harmful UV (ultraviolet) exposure on the eyes, yet many of us are unaware of the longstanding damage sun exposure can have.

Types of Harmful Rays

Known as UVA and UVB, these rays are found in sunlight and can cause damage when they enter our eyes. In order to see, exposure to light is essential as we need it to pass through the cornea, pupil and lens of the eye then onto the retina. However, high levels of UV rays have been shown to cause more harm than good.

How do UV Rays Harm my Eyes?

Some people think that your eyes are only exposed to harmful rays when exposed extensively to sunshine, however this is untrue; even on a cloudy day, UV light can travel through clouds into your eyes. Additionally, sunlight which reflects off snow, water or sand can become dangerous, as well as extreme glare from glass, such as vehicle windscreens or windows. The sun’s rays are strongest during the middle of the day between 10am and 2pm, so it’s recommended you wear sunglasses if you’re outside in this time period.

How can I stay Protected?

In order to prevent any long-term damage to your eyes, there are a number of safety precautions you can take such as:

  • Purchase quality sunglasses which carry the ‘CE’ mark and the British Standard BD EN 1836:2005 – this means they have been certified as having a safe level of sun protection within the lens
  • Avoid looking directly at the sun, especially during the hours where rays are at their strongest
  • Even if your contact lenses have some form of UV protection, you must still wear sunglasses in order to protect the entirety of your eyes

At Scrivens, we ensure safety is our number one priority in terms of our sunglasses range. We can make your favourite frames into prescription sunglasses, as well as offering a reglazing service on an existing pair. For more information about our sunglasses click here, or alternatively you can find out what styles we have available in your nearest store.