We think it’s fair to say that we all look forward to a bit of sun, don’t we? That yellow ball in the sky has the ability to turn even the most boring of days into an outdoor adventure. Unfortunately, living in the UK means that we don’t get the see the sunshine as much as we might like to, however, what it does mean is that we make the most of every last minute.
When we’re due some sun we dust off the barbecue, dig out the flip flops, and who could forget the obligatory glass of Pimms? There’s one very vital ingredient that it’s essential not to forget though. And no, we’re not talking about the strawberries to pop in your drink or enjoy with a side of cream; we mean sun protection.
Fortunately for us, the media does a great job of warning us of the effects the sun’s rays can have on our skin. And we’re sure if you haven’t suffered with nasty sunburn yourselves, you certainly know someone who has, and who will be all too willing to describe just how painful it was. That’s why we should always keep the sunscreen handy when we’re outdoors on sunny days. We know all too well the damage that the sun can have on our skin. It’s not just the sunburn that we worry about, it’s the possibility of skin cancer and even the ageing effect that UV rays can have on us.
Another way we should be protecting ourselves from ultraviolet rays is by wearing sunglasses. Now, you might just see sunglasses as a great fashion accessory, or more likely, you use then simply to make it easy to see things properly when you’re in bright sunlight, but actually, sunglasses play a very vital role in protecting your vision and sight.
Just like our skin, our eyes can be sunburnt. While this won’t cause us any long-term damage, just like sunburn on your skin, it can be very painful and can take a while to properly heal. In optics, we call this type of sunburn ‘photokeratitis’. Without the correct protective sunglasses, this can occur very easily, usually when light reflects off water, shiny surfaces, or even snow. It can also occur simply as a result of not protecting your eyes when out on a bright day.
It’s not only short-term damage to your eyes that the sun can cause. Long periods of over exposure can eventually lead to cataracts, macular degeneration, and even skin cancer.
It’s vital that you choose sunglasses with the correct protection; that means sunglasses that filter out 100% of UVA and UVB rays, and up to 75% of visible light (depending on what activities you’re using them for). If you’re unsure whether your sunglasses offer the correct protection, speak to our experts at Eye Emporium.
Even if you wear spectacles on a day-to-day basis, it doesn’t mean that you can’t wear sunglasses too. It’s really easy to get your prescription made up into a pair of sunglasses, meaning that you can lie by the pool and read without having to wear two pairs of glasses!
Play sports? No problem! You can benefit from specially designed sunglasses, created by some of the world’s leading sports brands. There are frames that are custom designed to best-suit most sports, meaning that you don’t need to worry about frames that move when you do, that let in glare from the sides, or that have the potential to shatter if hit by a rogue ball. Also, you have an array of different coloured tinted lenses available to you, depending on your chosen terrain. These all work in different ways to block glare, give you a better colour contrast (imagine easily spotting a golf ball on the green on a bright day) and ultimately, enhance your performance.
And of course, let’s not forget about the children. Good weather also means we can persuade the kids to put down their computer games and venture into the great outdoors too. But young eyes are at more risk from the sun because they’re still developing. Most lasting sun damage to our eyes comes from our childhood, so it’s extra important to make sure young ones’ eyes are protected.
At Eye Emporium, we carry a huge range of sunglasses, ranging from high-fashion, to specialists sports frames, to cool kid’s frames. And there’s a frame to suit every budget too. Why not pop in to your local branch to have a look at what’s available? Alternatively, for more information or to book your eye examination, call us on 0800 020 9202.