You’ve probably been told at some point in your life not to look directly at the sun, and for good reason.
We all know about the link between sun exposure and skin cancer, but UV rays can also have a serious impact on your eyes, optometrist Robyn Weinberg tells Starts at 60. Yep, eye sunburn is a real thing.
Australia experiences some of the highest levels of UV radiation in the world, which means we need to be more diligent about protecting our eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.
“Everyone can be affected by UV damage and if you’re spending a lot of time in the sun, you’re automatically at risk,” Weinberg explains.
Other risk factors that may increase your chances of getting your eyes sunburned, include:
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably never thought about how too much sun can damage the eyes. Some of the more serious eye conditions that are caused by UV rays include:
Weinberg says it’s relatively easy to protect your eyes from the sun by wearing a good pair of sunglasses.
“Make sure you choose sunglasses that meet the Australian standards for UV protection by checking that they’re labelled as category 2, 3 or 4 or marked as EPF (Eye Protection Factor) 9 or 10,” she explains.
“Your glasses should be sitting close to the bridge of your nose without touching the eyelashes and have side protection or wrap around to block outside glare.”
According to SunSmart, wearing a broad-brimmed hat can cut the UV exposure reaching your eyes by 50 per cent. It’s also important to have your eyes tested regularly to identify and prevent many of the problems caused by UV rays.
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