When you’re slip, slop, slapping this summer to protect your skin from UV rays, there’s one more thing to remember: keeping your eyes safe. UV levels are at their highest throughout December and January, and with continued unprotected exposure, your eyes are at risk of long term damage.
“UV levels can record up to three times* higher in summer and the damage is irreversible. Repeated exposure can cause serious eye conditions such as cataracts, skin cancer of the eyelids and macular degeneration," says OPSM Eyecare Director Grant Fisher.
The solution? OPSM recommends wearing sunglasses whenever you’re outside this summer.
“Sunglasses don’t have to be expensive. As long as they block UVA and UVB rays, you can be confident you have the necessary protection,” Grant says.
It's also important to remember that it doesn't have to be especially bright for the sun to be dangerous. While the most harmful sun hours are between 11am and 2pm, OPSM advises being sunsmart whenever you're out and about this summer. “A common misconception is out of sight, out of mind. However, cloudy days can register just as high UV levels as sunny ones so it’s important to keep your sunglasses on at all times."
OPSM’s top summer eye care tips
1. Ensure your sunglasses are rated four or five by the ARPANSA Australian and New Zealand Sunglass Standards. These block almost all UV radiation.
2. Don't be fooled by a cloudy day; the sun's rays can still pass through clouds.
3. Wear a hat with your sunglasses to give you even more protection.
4. Never look directly at the sun, even during an eclipse, as it can cause damage to the eye's retina.
5. Ensure your kids have the proper protection so their eyes aren’t exposed at a young age as sun damage is cumulative.
Find out more at opsm.com.au
*Australian Government - Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency
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