Avoid Summer Eye Damage

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There is nothing better than waking up to a clear blue sky and the sun shining to make everyone feel in a good mood. Summer is a fantastic time of year, and it is always talked about how we should look after our skin in hot climates. But what about our eyes? Looking after our eyes and avoiding damage is just as important since our eyes are more prone to sun damage than our skin.

It’s possibly a less common fact that the sun can burn the eyes. Everyone knows not to look directly at the sun, but it doesn’t have to be stared at to cause damage. Simply a reflection in water or snow can cause as much of a problem – just think about when driving after a rain shower when the sun’s come out.

Long term exposure to the sun affects everyone in so many ways and ensuring protection is the best solution. It all starts with the right sunglasses.

A lot of people just see a pair of sunglasses as a fashion accessory, but a wide rimmed pair is the best protector for your eyes that can be found. Couple that with a wide brimmed sun hat and you’re set for summer. If you get prescribed sunglasses don’t forget they are covered on your Health Shield health cash plan.

Ensure you select a pair that have a CE Mark, a UV 400 label and 100% UV protection. If they don’t have these, keep looking.

Don’t be fooled by the lens colour either. This has no impact on the ability to protect your eyes. Just because it is a dark lens, does not mean that it doesn’t let as much UV light through. Always check the UV protection before purchasing a pair of sunglasses.

How do you know if you are more at risk than others?

It goes without saying to take ultimate protection wherever in the world you visit. But there are some simple guidelines that determine if you are more at risk than others of eye damage from the sun:

  • The closer to the equator the stronger the sun’s rays and a greater risk of exposure to the sun
  • Altitude, the closer to the sun the stronger the rays
  • The time of the day, remember the rules of mid-day sun.

Remember to rest your eyes where possible, as using a computer screen can also cause strain on your eyes, and whilst in the garden over the summer be careful for insects and anything else that may be hiding out whilst you prune and tidy.

Of course, sun in winter is just as harmful so ensure that you protect your eyes throughout the year, and your family’s too – young children have sensitive eyes and need guidance on how to protect them. Only 32% of parents make their children wear sunglasses, compared to 74% that make them wear sunscreen.

If you are a Health Shield health cash plan member, don’t forget if you are covered for the optical benefit on your health cash plan, you can claim cashback for a prescribed pair of sunglasses meaning you don’t need to worry about affording the perfect pair.

To become a Health Shield individual member on our Connect plan, sign up today.


www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/answered-questions/are-darker-sunglasses-worse-your-eyes, www.nhs.uk, www.eyesonderry.com, www.clearviewinstitute.com, www.netdoctor.co.uk