Looking after your eyes in the sun

With the summer holiday season underway it’s important to take care of your eyes as well as your skin when holidaying or travelling in hot climates or sunbathing in the UK.

Excessive sun exposure can cause irreversible damage to your eyesight and can even lead to blindness. 

Mr Raja Das-Bhaumik, consultant oculoplastic surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital said: “It’s extremely important to protect your eyes in the sun to reduce the risk of developing cataracts and a common type of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma. You should buy sunglasses from a reputable retailer and check that they carry the CE mark to ensure that they will protect your eyes from harmful UV rays”.

Check out our Q&A webchat with Mr Raja Das-Bhaumik for advice on looking after your eyes in the sun. 

  • When buying sunglasses always look for the UV 400 mark to ensure they will protect your eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays.
  • Look for the CE mark which indicates the sunglasses meet European standards.
  • Contact lenses with a UV filter do not offer full protection from the sun.
  • Fake sunglasses often provide little or no protection from the sun.
  • Try to keep out of the sun between 11am-3pm when UV rays are most harmful.
  • Prolonged sun exposure could increase your risk of developing cataracts

Regular eye checks are important for everyone, as some serious eye conditions do not have any visible early warning symptoms. It’s especially important to have a regular check-up with an optician if there is a history of eye problems in your family.  You can find lists of opticians in your area via the NHS Choices website.

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