Specsavers Middleton are taking the time to raise awareness of the increased risk of UV damage during the summer months.
Excessive UV exposure, over a period of time, can cause or accelerate the development of cataracts or macula degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in later life. It can also cause unhealthy and permanent changes to the front of the eye which are cosmetically undesirable.
And while most people are aware of the effect of sun damage to their skin, many do not consider the potential impact on their eyes.
Chris Howarth, store director at Specsavers Middleton, said: ‘We talk to people about their eye health every day, and most simply do not consider sunlight as a factor that may cause serious, irreversible damage.
People slather themselves in sun cream, then lie back and look up to a bright, sunny sky, not realising that there is a very real danger of serious, lasting damage to their eyes and vision.
Similarly, many people buy sunglasses without considering whether they offer adequate protection against UV rays. Many sunglasses are designed with fashion, rather than safety, in mind.
Sunglasses should bear the CE kite mark and offer 99-100 per cent UV protection, which is indicated on labelling with the mark UV-400. Consumers should be aware that the price, darkness and tint of the sunglasses do not necessarily have a bearing on the strength of the protection offered and that labels should always be checked.’
Reducing eye damage
The team at Specsavers Middleton can check the suitability of sunglasses this summer and offer advice and answer any questions regarding summer eye health. By raising awareness of the importance of choosing the right sunglasses, staff hope that the number of people damaging their eyes will be reduced.
The team can also talk people through the wide range of prescription sunglasses available and give details of the current special offers on prescription sunglasses. Alternatively, the team can advise contact lens wearers whether they are currently wearing a contact lens that blocks UV and, if necessary, how to swap to a UV blocking contact lens.