Most of us know that it’s important to protect our skin from the sun in the summer. What we might not be so aware of is how important it is to keep our eyes safe.
Many of us wear sunglasses because they look good and because we don’t want to squint in the sun. Did you know, though, that a lot of sunglasses aren’t actually protecting your eyes from the sun’s rays?
Read on to find out how to keep your eyes safe this summer.
Why is it so important to protect your eyes?
Just as sunlight is damaging to our skin in high amounts, it is also damaging to our eyes.
Over a long period, exposure to the UVA and UVB rays that come from the sun can cause damage to our eyes. It’s thought that UV exposure is a factor in the development of conditions that may lead to blindness, such as ocular cancer, macular degeneration, and cataracts.
It’s important that you take steps to protect your eyes from the sun. This is particularly true for people who work outdoors, particularly in sunny regions or areas where there is a lot of reflected sunlight, such as places near water or snow.
1. Wear sunglasses
Wearing sunglasses is probably the most effective way to protect your eyes from the sun, provided you choose the right ones. A lot of sunglasses that you can buy on the high street look good but don’t provide any real protection. They are shaded, which causes your pupils to dilate and allow in more harmful UV rays.
The only sunglasses that will protect your eyes are those with 99 to 100% UVA and UVB protection, so be sure to check for this when buying sunglasses.
It’s also possible to get prescription sunglasses or clip-on sunglasses shades that allow you to wear your glasses and provide protection from the sun at the same time. You can find high-quality clip-on sunglasses at just-glasses.co.uk.
2. Seek shade
A good rule of thumb when protecting yourself from the sun is to seek shade at the times of day when the sun is most intense. This will mean that there are fewer UV rays and so less chance of eye damage.
In most places, the sun is most intense between 10 am and 4 pm, so where possible, it’s a good idea to seek shade at these times.
It’s not just your eyes themselves that need protection from the sun. The skin around your eyes is particularly delicate and prone to sun damage.
You can protect the skin around your eyes by choosing a larger pair of sunglasses, ideally, the kind that wraps around, so the sides of your eyes are protected, too.
Most sunscreens are safe to use around your eyes (be careful not to get sunscreen in your eye, though!); however, as this area is more sensitive, it can be good to be mindful about which type you use. Mineral formulas made with zinc or titanium dioxide are usually a good bet, and you can get sunscreens that have been specifically designed with the eye area in mind.