Sunning Our Way Through Summer

With some sense of normality on the horizon, and with some great weather, we mustn’t forget protecting ourselves from UV radiation. UV radiation comes in many forms, most commonly categorised into UVA, B and C. When it comes specifically to the eye, it is UVA & UVB that we need to be most worried about. These levels of radiation can penetrate from the corneal surface (the front of our eye), through to the natural lens and onto the retinal surface which lines the back of our eye.

Just like we protect our skin by using sunscreen, our eyes deserve protection too. UV radiation causes damage to the eye which cannot be easily seen and therefore protection is important for all ages.

Sunglasses are the perfect fashion statement and with the right lenses, will also provide you with the perfect protection. What’s not to like about that?

But is sun protection advised just for the Summer?

Well, if we think logically, UV is present in the atmosphere throughout the year. Even on an overcast day, there will be some level of UV present. On a bright, sun filled day, there will be much more.

Sunglasses are such an easy way to counteract this bright glare. But remember, UV is present in the winter too, and quite often, the sun is very low in these seasons. Low sun can cause even more glare to penetrate your eyes so actually sunglasses should be part of your year-round wardrobe! But, let’s be honest, not everyone likes the idea of sunglasses. Ensuring your clear spectacles lenses are UV coated will provide you with great levels of protection also. Many clear coatings and some contact lenses have more than sufficient UV coatings on them and all our premium anti reflection coatings will provide you with sufficient protection from UV.

What harm can UV radiation do to your eyes?

The most common form of UV damage on the eye is cataracts. Although cataracts form as part of the natural ageing process of the eyes, excess exposure to UV will cause them to develop sooner. The natural lens of the eye acts as a protective barrier against harmful UV radiation entering the retinal surface at the back of your eye. As cataracts develop, this natural defence mechanism isn’t as good. The other most common condition is macular degeneration. We look at both of these conditions in more detail here.

Children and babies also need protection for their eyes, so a simple hat will do the trick. But again, when the sun is very bright, sunglasses are important.

Simple Tint? Polarised? Transitions™?

Oh gosh, so yes there are many options, when is it easy?!

A simple tint is just that, a colour that the lens has been tinted to, to provide a reduction in the brightness of the images you look at. Although, they don’t protect against horizontal glare which you get from other surfaces such as water, roads or your car bonnet. Polarised lenses however cut out 100% of the glare. They are our number one choice of tint type as by cutting the glare out, it enhances colour perception and improves the clarity of your sight and is much safer in certain conditions such as skiing. Adding an antireflection coating enhances the clarity of your vision and also reduces reflections that your eyes may pick up from the back surface of the lenses. Our go to choice would be polarised lenses. Come in and have a chat about our Maui Jim Sunglasses, which are only available in polarising options.

And finally, Transition™ lenses are a fantastic option for those who don’t fancy the idea of a separate pair of sunnies. These lenses react throughout the year to levels of UV in the atmosphere and go darker depending on how strong the count is. Once the exposure of UV has stopped, such as when you walk into a shop, the lenses take a mere couple of minutes to go clear again. There are also Transition™ lenses which work in the car.

With so many colour choices on offer at The Eye Zone, ranging from the classic greys and greens to the more eclectic golds, sapphires, emerald and red, there is definitely something for everyone! Come and visit us for advice or a styling consultation.