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Protect your eyes on the run

be. Running Guide — Posted 29/09/13

All you need to know about protecting your eyes as you clock up the km's.

Training for and running a marathon means runners are outdoors pounding the pavement for long periods of time. While Australians are generally thought to be quite sun savvy, research by OPSM has found only 12% of Australians have sunglasses for outdoor sports and exercise.

Most people might not know that the eyes and the skin around the eyes are the most sensitive part of the body, which is why they need to be protected. UV damage is irreversible and repeated exposure can cause eye conditions such as cataracts, pterygia, skin cancer of the eyelids and macular degeneration which, in extreme cases, can cause vision loss.

While harmful rays are three times greater in the summer, UV rays are around all year, even when it’s cloudy. Sun-related damage to the eyes is cumulative so the more sunlight you are exposed to throughout life, the more chance you have of causing damage to your eyes.

In addition to making sure you’ve got the right shoes and clothes for comfort and performance, runners also need to think about the right eye wear, particularly because 90% of skin cancers occur above the neck and up to 10% on the eyelids.

Sports eyewear can have a significant effect on athletic performance. As well as providing clarity to see better, high performance sports sunglasses provide protection that blocks out 100% of UVA/Band blue light from the sun’s harmful rays. Light-weight frame materials, non-slip earsocks and nosepads mean wearing sunglasses won’t hinder your vision or movement.

The best protection for your eyes is sunglasses, but not all sunglasses are created equal. Oakley earned its reputation by spending the past three decades working with world-class sports professionals to ensure performance sunglasses exceed the limits and continue to evolve as technology does.

Top 5 tips for runners choosing sunglasses

1. Slip, slop, slap and slide – wear sunglasses when training and racing, even when it’s cloudy

2. Look at high performance sunglasses that block out 100% of UVA/B and blue light from the sun’s harmful rays

3. Try on different pairs of sunglasses and ensure they have a lightweight frame with non-slip earsocks and nosepads for increased comfort

4. Get into your nearest OPSM store where you can have an optometrist fit the perfect pair of glasses according to your face shape, activity and budget

5. Have fun!

Grant Fisher is OPSM National Eyecare Director and holds a Bachelor of Optometry.

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