Summer sun can harm our eyes as well as our skin, warns Liverpool opticians

Experts at Liverpool-based Silverberg Opticians say many of us need to do more to protect our eyes from the potentially damaging effects of UV rays during the current heatwave

Sunglasses
Our eyes needs protection from the sun as well as our skin

 

With the heatwave showing no signs of ending there have been numerous warnings for people to keep their skin protected – but our eyes are also at risk from the sun’s rays.

Experts at Liverpool-based Silverberg Opticians say many of us need to do more to protect our eyes from the potentially damaging effects of UV rays.

They point out years of exposure to sunlight can contribute to issues such as cataracts (a clouding of the lens which can affect vision) and can cause conjunctival cancers, eyelid cancers and even corneal sunburn.

Almost all of these UV-related eye conditions can be detected by an optician during a routine eye test, so it’s important to keep up with your annual eye tests. Lenses for spectacles and contact lenses offering UV protection are also available.

Silverberg director Colin Dorricott said: “We see people in store far too often who have medical ocular issues because they haven’t protected themselves from the sun in the past. Our eyes are so vitally important to us – we need to look after them.”

The advice on looking after your eyes in the sunshine issued by the Silverberg team mirrors the current guidance from the NHS, which is to: “Never look at the sun directly, even when something exciting such as an eclipse is happening.

“Doing so can cause irreversible damage to your eyesight and even lead to blindness.

Several studies also suggest sunlight exposure is a risk factor for cataracts. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat or sunglasses can help protect your eyes from UV rays.

The College of Optometrists recommends buying good-quality dark sunglasses – these needn’t be expensive.

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