Sun protection sunglasses guide
When it comes to sun protection, the eyes are just as important as the skin. Long term exposure to the sun can cause skin cancer to affect the eyelids and area around the eyes as well as increase the risk of a type of cataract and pterygia (a growth on the surface of the eye).
According to Simon Kelly, of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, “Over-exposure to ultraviolet light, such as a day at the beach without proper eye protection, can cause a temporary but painful burn to the surface of the eye, similar to sunburn on the skin.”
He adds that reflected sunlight from snow and water, and artificial light from sunbeds, are particularly dangerous. Always avoid looking directly at the sun. “Staring directly at the sun can permanently scar the retina, the area at the back of the eye responsible for vision,” he says.
Precautions like wearing a wide-brimmed hat or wearing sun protection sunglasses can reduce the amount of UV rays reaching your face and eyes.
Here’s what to look for in a sun protection sunglasses
Choose a pair that has one of the following:
- the ‘CE Mark’ and British Standard (BS EN 1836:1997)
- a UV 400 label
- a statement that the sunglasses offer 100% UV protection
- Think about the sides of your eyes, and consider sunglasses with wide or wraparound arms.