Summer means long days, hot temperatures, and lots of time spent outdoors. While there are health benefits to safely spending time in the sun, we often forget to protect our eyes, which can be damaged if exposed to high levels of UV light. Here are some tips to help you protect your eyes this summer.
UV filter glasses, sunglasses or contact lenses
The best way to protect your eyes from damaging UV rays is by wearing glasses or lenses with a UV filter. Poor quality sunglasses may actually cause your pupils to dilate, allowing harmful rays to filter into the eyes, increasing the risk of corneal inflammation, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Always check that your sunglasses have either a CE mark showing they are manufactured to an agreed European standard, or that they adhere to British Standard BS EN ISO 12312-1.
Stay out of direct sunlight
The sun’s rays are strongest between 11 am and 3 pm, so it’s best to stay out of direct sunlight during these hours. If you must be in the sun, minimise your time spent in it, and wear sunglasses that adhere to safety standards, as well as a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and eyes.
A wide-brimmed hat is a great way to protect your eyes from the sun. The brim should be at least three inches wide in order to provide adequate coverage. Look for a hat that is tightly woven so that it will block out the sun’s harmful rays.
Know your surroundings
UV exposure increases near reflective surfaces, such as water. This means that the chances of damaging your eyes is higher, so you will need to protect them while at the beach, sailing, or fishing. Although there’s not much chance of snow this summer in the UK, if you are planning a winter sun holiday, you also need to consider the reflective surface of snow and take extra precautions.