Why UV is so dangerous to our eyes

Why UV is so dangerous to our eyes.

This year’s summer maybe wetter than normal, but it’s still coming. And with summer comes park picnics, BBQ’s, beach days and other outdoor activities. Spending more time outside can be so beneficial, as sunlight can have a positive effect on our health. Sunlight gives us the much-needed vitamin D, plays a role in our body’s natural-wake sleep cycles and prevent near-sightedness in children. However, with sunlight comes UV radiation and this can cause damage to eyes – including the eyelids, cornea and lens.


How is UV radiation dangerous?

Living in Australia means that we are exposed to a much higher level of UV radiation. This is because the Australia is much closer to the hole in the ozone layer than the rest of the world. It’s important we protect ourselves as UV can:.

 cause chronic damage and lead to decreased vision
UV radiation can lead to corneal damage, cataracts and macular degeneration have cosmetic effects

The skin of our eyelids is the thinnest of our whole body. UV damage can cause dryness, wrinkles, skin furrows, sagging, loss of elasticity and pigmentation

Lead to deadly diseases

UV radiation has be associated with skin cancers. These cancers are able to invade the eye and lead to cancerous growths.


Cause sunburn

UV radiation puts everyone, particularly children, at risk for sunburn. Sunburning is called photokeratitis and can cause temporary vision loss.

Lead to pterygium
•A non-cancerous growth that occurs when the white skin of the eye starts encroaching into the coloured part.


Protecting your eyes from UV:

UV radiation can cause damage to all our ocular structures – including our eyelids. Remember these tips to protect your and your child’s eyes as best as you can:

Wear sunglasses

• Sunglasses aren’t just a fashion statement. They protect our eyes from harmful light and damage. However, not all sunglasses are the same. The best sunglasses – to protect your eyes and block out reflected UV radiation – are polarised sunglasses. Sunglasses labelled as category 2, 3 or 4 and are marked as a 9 or 10 in eye protection factor (EPF) meet Australian standards

Additionally, sunglasses need to fit correctly. They should sit close to the bridge of the nose, without touching eyelashes, and wrap around for side protection.

Wear a hat

• Pair your sunnies with a broad brimmed hat for added protection

Remember that clouds don’t block UV

• Even if you can’t see the sun, it doesn’t mean that UV radiation isn’t present.

Sunlight is strongest from midday to the early afternoon.

Never look directly at the sun

• This can damage your eye’s retina and cause serious injury.

Avoid tanning beds

• UV radiation, whether from natural sunlight or artificial light can cause damage to your eye tissue, cornea and lens.

Remember that radiation can be reflected

• UV can be reflected from the ground, water, snow, sand and other bright surfaces.

Book regular eye tests

• Eye tests are the best way to identify and prevent any problems that may arise. With the Australian summer coming up, it’s important you schedule an appointment to make sure your eyes are in perfect health.

Summer is fast approaching, book an appointment today to make sure you are sun smart and sun ready.


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