Why you need to protect your eyes from the sun

Eyes are very delicate and it is important that you protect them adequately. It is common knowledge that a long term exposure to the sun is unhealthy for your skin. However, eyes can also suffer consequences if you spend too much time in the sun. Ultraviolet rays may cause nasty side effects which you should try to prevent. The most serious conditions are cataracts, macular degeneration, photokeratitis and eye cancer. You don’t need to worry more than is necessary, but it is advisable to take a few simple precautions. Since summer is round the corner and hopefully you are likely to go on holiday soon, we intend to give you some tips on this matter.

If you are planning to spend a long day at the beach or by the swimming pool, wearing sunglasses is essential to protect your eyes. As a matter of fact, even if you are going on a trip in the mountains, you should wear sunglasses or snow goggles to avoid the so-called snow blindness (snow is highly reflective of ultraviolet radiation). Regardless of the circumstances, it would make more sense to wear quality sunglasses rather than the cheap versions that you can buy in a random touristy shop. They will cost more, but they will be way more effective and they will last longer. You also stand far more chances of finding sunglasses that have a nice shape and an original colour. Sunglass Hut is a reliable online store that you could consider, and you won’t be paying too much if you take advantage of the Sunglass Hut discount code here.      

Wearing a hat is another smart practice to protect yourself from sun exposure. In order to partly block UV rays from your eyes and eyelids, our recommendation is to get hold of a wide-brimmed hat – better still if it is made of a tightly woven fabric with no holes. It would be good for your eyes, and for sure your face, neck and ears would also benefit from this kind of protection. If fashion is your main concern, you can find plenty of fancy hats online. You just have to pick your favourite style.

Sunscreen is also very important. You should put it on the face and around the eyes, because it will protect them when you take off your sunglasses. Ideally, you should choose a sun cream with a fairly high SPF (Sun Protection Factor), because otherwise you seriously risk getting burnt. 15 is the minimum, but 20 or 30 would be much better. If you have very delicate skin and it is the first time in the year that you expose yourself to the sun, be wise and buy a sunscreen with an SPF of 50. It will save you from a lousy time in bed. Once again, our suggestion is to pick a recognized brand, because it is more likely to ensure quality.   

If you use contact lenses, you should be aware that nowadays most of them have adequate technology to protect you from UV radiation. Assuming you wish to have the highest level of protection, you should choose class 1 contact lenses, which supposedly block 90% of UV-A rays. Whether you wear dailies or monthlies, you can find adequate contact lenses of this kind. They are beneficial because they cover a bigger area of your eyes. However, contact lenses alone are not enough to protect you from ultraviolet rays, and you should definitely combine them with sunglasses when you are exposed to the sun.

We still have a few minor indications to share: you might take them for granted, but they are relevant nevertheless. You should avoid sun exposure when the sun is most intense (between 10am and 4pm) and look for some shade when you have a chance. It will be restful for your eyes. Pay extra attention when you are close to water, snow and sand, because these surfaces reflect the sun’s rays and therefore are more dangerous. Finally, never gaze directly at the sun!

Should you have any further doubts and concerns about your eyes’ health, we encourage you to read NHS guidelines on how you can look after your eyes. Alternatively, the College of Optometrists is a reliable source for more information.